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Lc-V^. ei 



iWentotial lEbitfon 



PLAYS BY CLYDE FITCH 



IN FOUR VOLUMES 
Volume One 



• • • 



Clyde Fitch 
From the Pcrtrait by V/illiam M. Chase at Amherst College 



Jttemonal Sottion 



PLAYS BY CLYDE PITCH 

IN FOUR VOLUMES 

Volume One 

BEAU BRUMMELL, LOVERS' LANE 

NATHAN HALE 

EDITED, WITH AN INTRODUCTION 

By MONTROSE J. MOSES 
AND VIRGINIA GERSON 




BOSTON 
LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY 

1920 



Copyright, igiS, 
By Little, Brown, and Company. 






INTRODUCTION 

Sir Francis Bacon has written that " Frend- 
ship maketh indeed a faire day in the Affections ", 
and it is because of the many fair days awakened 
in our memory of Clyde Fitch, that we are at- 
tempting, in this foreword to a Memorial Edition 
of some of his plays, to re-create the flavor of his 
personality which was dear to us. In the writing 
of biography, there is no better course to fol- 
low, no better philosophy to maintain, than the 
inner beauty of little things, — those quotidian 
moments which strike sparks from the spirit, 
yet are not thought of at the time, because they 
do not represent crises in a life. Maeterlinck's 
contribution to modern thinking is that the 
exalted is ever near us, even in the silence ; and, 
when he came to write essays on Emerson and 
Novalis, he brought into high light those moral 
qualities underlying the small act, the casual 
thought, — and made nothing of the event. 



vi INTRODUCTION 

Thinking over our association with Clyde 
Fitch, we find that what we remember most about 
him are those acts and services which were done 
largely through moral forces in his character. 
Under such conditions it is difficult to separate 
the man from the act, diflficult to dissociate the 
locality from the personality, diflficult to assume 
an impersonal judgment without paying a per- 
sonal tribute. He was one of the best of friends, 
one of the most loyal of associates. His genius 
for friendship was not merely the abiUty to at- 
tract to him the love of others, but the gift of 
drawing from others the best that was in them. 
In all of his activities, he was ever generous, ever 
courteous, ever anxious to spare the trouble 
and to share the gain. His life was a busy one, 
filled with the obligations of an ever-increasing 
profession. In one respect it may be said that 
from the time Clyde Fitch began to be regarded 
as America's most popular playwright, each year 
found him externally doing the same things, — 
fulfilling contracts, selecting casts, arranging 
rehearsals, and attending ** openings.'' Faster 
and faster grew this whirl of routine imtil, during 
the last year of his life, he was attempting suffi- 
cient to undermine the health of the strongest 
man. Every year found him abroad, noting 
with the quick eye of the trained expert what was 



INTRODUCTION vii 

best in the Continental theatres, and meeting 
Charles Frohman or some other American man- 
ager, in order to read a manuscript or to talk 
over an embryo comedy. It was the life of a 
successful literary man of the theatre, and was 
filled with interesting associations, correspond- 
ences, and travels. 

All of this may be brought to light some day 
in another form, yet we cannot but feel that, 
after all is said, after the last word has been ut- 
tered, the true significance of Clyde Fitch lay in 
the spirit rather than in the letter of what he 
did. The mere story-element in his plays is 
something an inventive mind other than his 
might be able to duplicate ; the technique of his 
drama is a matter many clever playwrights might 
be able to explain. But the Fitchean flavor of the 
various pieces, the Fitchean humor, observation, 
and verbal twist, are characteristics no one has 
been able to emulate. Such literary elusiveness 
is what is meant when we say that the style is 
the man. Since the death of Clyde Fitch, the 
New York stage — and that means the stage of 
the entire country — has missed his distinctive 
contributions to a dramatic season. Without 
exactly analyzing why, we believe that the Fitch 
theatregoing public miss him for exactly the 
same reason — though not so intimate a one — 



viii INTRODUCTION 

as his friends miss him. The personal equation 
is gone, and all that is left of him is the rich 
memory of his presence, — and his plays which 
must ever be regarded as healthy contributions 
to American drama. We who knew him see in 
those plays a large part of the man himself, — 
sympathy for human problems, quick observa- 
tion of minute details, interest in moral actions 
and their consequences, the love of beautiful 
things, and a refreshing approach toward life. 
■ Those are the qualities which no artifice can 
i create, — those are the inner beauties which are 
, unconsciously born of the character of thought 
i a^nd expression. And that is why the personality 
of Clyde Fitch is bound up in his work. 

If his life were to be told in brief, we should 
point to his childhood in Schenectady, New 
York ; his college days at Amherst ; his struggles 
to maintain himself in New York with his short 
stories; his writing of "Beau Brummell;" 
and then the open but slow road toward 
success. We remember one of his anecdotes 
about a reading he gave in Schenectady, where 
he returned in after years. The account was 
scribbled on a train as he was going to Chicago 
where "Nathan Hale" was to be rehearsed. 
The reading at Schenectady was to be from this 
play, and from his "Smart Set" sketches. In 



INTRODUCTION ix 

the large audience that turned out to greet him, 
he recognized the familiar face of his little, fat 
music teacher whose sense of humor got the better 
of her as she listened to the story. She had 
hysterics, he said in the letter, and looked so 
funny that he dropped his book on the floor 
and laughed for five whole minutes, keeping the 
audience waiting meanwhile. Clyde Fitch never 
lost that hearty, natural, boyish laugh of his; 
there was a contagious "funniness" about it that 
was good to hear. 

He was always proud of his Amherst connec- 
tion; always proud of the college pride in him. 
Those who are fortunate enough to look back 
on undergraduate days with him will recollect 
a certain reticence, a certain shyness which at 
times misled people as to the firmness beneath. 
This latter characteristic is exemplified by a 
story told in retrospect by one of Mr. Fitch's 
professors. **I remember,'' he said, "that when 
Clyde first appeared upon the campus, he wore 
a suit of a peculiar blue — sufl5ciently blue and 
peculiar to call down upon him the ruthless jibing 
of the upper classmen. For days he persisted 
in his attire, and faced the music. So I was 
not surprised when, one evening, he put in his 
appearance at my house. He explained the 
situation and asked my advice. I felt that 



X INTRODUCTION 

whatever decision he might make must come from 
him, and I told him so. Then in a perfectly 
quiet voice he said, as he turned to go, *I guess 
ril stick it out; " 

We have vividly in mind a picture of the col- 
lege graduate launched upon a career of his own 
choosing. For if Clyde Fitch had followed his \ 
father's choice he would have been an architect. / 
He always possessed a strong art taste, manifest 
in his collecting of antiques, and asserting itself 
in the three homes he came to build. But, at 
the beginning, his art taste and his literary in- 
come were incompatible. Those who saw him 
in his studio days, saw the real artist — always 
eager for some ohjet d'art, and spending his small 
checks — paid him for his stories — in some 
much-coveted prize. 

Mr. Fitch was ever eager to enjoy these hu- 
morous anecdotes about himself. He never re- 
garded himself as anything more than the average 
man, endowed with a gift which he used to the 
very best of his ability. And we suppose the 
incidents that went to make up his life were 
not extraordinary, despite the special atmosphere 
which his calling created around him. But his 
significance rests in his achievement, and in the 
manner in which he responded to the daily hap- 
penings in his life. Like all boys, there came a 



INTRODUCTION xi 

time when he had to break from his youthful sur- 
roundings in order to develop himself, but this 
break left him with an affectionate feeling for 
those faces that looked out at him from faded tin- 
types. There is no telling how much of those 
associations slipped into his playS. He never, 
however, broke from those early ties. There was 
a tremendous element of pride in the make-up 
of Clyde Fitch; he was thoroughly conscious 
of his family position, and his reverence for rela- 
tionship was only another evidence of that 
loyalty we have spoken of. There was likewise a 
pride in his friendship, shown whenever someone 
close to him met with deserved recognition. With 
this pride went a dignity which began to assert 
itself in some of his earliest business relations. 

One cannot read the plays included in this , 
Memorial Edition without feeling how evident j 
was the sjgritual developmeat of Clyde Fitch. 
In a copy of **Beau Brummell," sent to a friend, 
he wrote, "I send this as a curiosity. It was 
my Alpha Beta, But how well the theatre has 
progressed beyond the hric-h-hrac stage." He 
had his bric-d-brac expression — a youthful 
exuberance that never left him, — a decorative- 
ness which' is a part of fresh rather than of staid 
vision. In four of his dramas this unusual color 
found dominant expression. Mr. Fitch took 



/ 



xii INTRODUCTION 

peculiar personal pleasure in the ** period" story. 
To the details of writing he gave special care; 
and when the time came to externalize them, he 
was untiring in his efforts. Even in such a 
simple comedy as ** Lovers' Lane," during re- 
hearsals, he spent hours fastening apples and 
pinning blossoms in the orchard scene. In 
"Beau Brummell," at the very outset of his 
career, he manifested a characteristic care, while 
in ** Barbara Frietchie" and "Nathan Hale" his 
correspondence shows a particularity which was 
thorough and searching. His special expert- 
ness in feminine psychology, as exemplified in a 
series of plays culminating in "The Girl with the 
Green Eyes" and "The Truth," became in later 
years his greatest bone of contention with the 
critics, who denied that he would ever be able 
to depict a man's character. As an answer to 
this charge he gave to the public one of his 
most vivid stage personages — Sam Coast, in 
"Her Great Match," — and this vigor on his 
part was but the beginning of that decisiveness 
and sharpness uppermost in "The City." In 
some of his very earliest comedies, Clyde Fitch 
likewise won for himself the title of the play- 
wright of New York city, and no one' has as yet 
been able to surpass him in catching the evanes- 
cent peculiarities of the town. "Captain Jinks 



INTRODUCTION xiii 

of the Horse Marines" had all the flavor of old- 
♦^ime personal experience; it was not something 
Mr. Fitch had read about, but something he 
seemed to have felt. Here was his old love for a 
"period" cropping out. But between that and 
"Girls" — his most realistic and detailed treat- 
ment of apartment-house life in its externals — 
there are a great many of his dramas that are 
excellent Kodak films of the city, subject to his 
sensitized impression. 

Looking on these plays from their outside, 
there is a superabundance of cleverness which in 
itself would have won for him a name. Mr. 
Fitch had the fictionist's feeling of character for 
its own sake to such a superabundant degree 
that, as in the case of "The Happy Marriage" 
— which he always seemed to treasure as a good 
piece of work — he would throw away in casual 
reference whole ideas and situations capable 
of serious development. It was this ease of 
technique that sometimes belied the deeper pene- 
tration beneath, which he possessed and which 
dominated his conversation. When the actual 
time came for writing, the rapidity of his mere 
recording was no measure of the many years 
he may have pondered over a subject for his 
play. How often — long before he put pen to 
paper — would he exclaim that he was anxious 



xiv INTRODUCTION 

to get at his " jealousy piece '', meaning, of course, 
"The Girl with the Green Eyes." Often we have 
seen him, seated on a stone by the country- 
side, writing with a rapidity comparable to an 
artist sketching. Many of his friends remember 
his temptation, while at the Opera, to jot down 
bits of dialogue — for music always set his imag- 
ination astir. Yet he would never obtrude his 
inventive vagaries upon others. When the cur- 
tain was down, he was always the centre of con- 
versation, always the life of the party. But 
we have a feeling that he regarded his attendance 
as a member of the Opera Club simply as a means 
toward an end. 

It was that quality of mental arrangement 
which enabled him to set down on paper whole 
situations with a rapidity which critics called 
haste. He once wrote from Italy, "... I don't 
think the writing them [the two plays on which 
he was at work] made me ill ; I knew so well 
what I wanted to write — it was copying some- 
thing that one knows by heart." And from 
London, on May 24th, 1902, about "The Girl 
with the Green Eyes," he wrote, "I have also 
just finished to-day Act i of Mrs. Bloodgood's 
play. Of cotirse it seems as if I were doing an 
awful lot of work. And I suppose it would be 
better if I didn't do so much, but I can't help 



INTRODUCTION xv 

it! I limit my writing to three hours a day. 
However, the point about these plays is that I 
know them almost by heart. IVe been plan- 
ning the Mannering piece since a year ago last 
Winter. I know it all ; it only wanted to be writ- 
ten down, and the same with the Bloodgood piece. 
It isn't as if I had to think up plot and situations. 
IVe had them for a long time." 

In other words, his method of workmanship 
revealed Clyde Fitch's intense nervous vitality ; 
his was a type of mind to take quickly, to hold 
tenaciously, and to communicate to others, 
through association, that same subtle unrest 
which stimulates rather than wears out. Suc- 
cess never brought to him a self-satisfied outlook 
upon his work ; his deepening view of life was too ' 
vital for that. What it did seem to do to the 
very day of his death was to stir him to better 
effort. He was one of those rare workers who 
took criticism with a bigness and eagerness 
which only accentuated more fully his keenness to 
his defects. Writing from Paris, in July, 1905, 
he made this confession : "... I still am working 
like a horse, but I hope like one of those trained, \ 
intelligent horses! Now, on the changes neces- 
sary in *Her Great Match' for London; next 
on my Blanche Walsh play ["The Woman in the 
Case"]; and to-morrow I go to London to cast 



xvi INTRODUCTION 

the Frohman play, etc., etc., etc. And altogether 
more than I can do, or more than I want to do ! 
But if I can only do it well! I am trying. I 
think each year I try better to do better." 

Such pressure which came with success was 
what always beset Clyde Fitch, the workman. 
It was not what he wanted, but what theatrical 
condition imposed on him. He had little time 
to do things leisurely, ffis morning mail was 
read rapidly and appreciatively; his letters 
were answered out of the fulness of the moment, 
— often prompted, not by the immediate neces- 
sity of the occasion, but because of some purely 
human quality discovered in a phrase or sentence. 
While abroad he would scribble notes on trains 
or in motor-cars, flowing over into the margins 
of the paper with an unchecked love of recording 
impressions. These letters — often postcards — 
were weighted down with personal flashes, show- 
ing humor, pathos, appreciation; recording 
plans in naive declarations; describing people 
and places with that surface irony which critics 
always took at its surface value, never giving 
Mr. Fitch credit for something deeper behind 
it all. These communications were significant 
in their revelation of the man. A letter from 
Florence, 1902, came to its destination laden with 
the joyful appreciation of beauty, but, he con- 



INTRODUCTION xvii 

f esses, "while I can look at pictures alone, I hate 
to eat alone. Just to eat bores me." Yet his 
sociable instincts did not take from him an abid- 
ing love for the silence. 

This rush of work which followed him to town 
whenever he left his country place ; which trailed 
him across continent, making his progress a hasty 
circuit of live observations and rapid business 
negotiations — did not deprive him of a very 
serious attitude toward his work. If there was 
one quality uppermost in Clyde Fitch, the crafts- 
man, it was his never-failing belief in what he had 
done. He wrote from Berlin, in April, 1908, "I 

wish you dear , who have always taken me and 

my work seriously, and know what I put into it, 
and from what a standard I wrote, could have 
shared my joy and satisfaction at Hamburg 
[over the reception of 'The Truth']." With 
that tendency of his to underscore and double 
underscore his emphasis in letters, he declared, 
in August, 1900, from St. Enogat, France, "I 
have had a disappointment. Frohman decides 
not to do 'The Climbers.' It is a real bitter 
disappointment, for I believe so much in the play." 

This belief led him to spend as much energy 
nurturing a play after it was launched, as he 
expended in the actual composition. Convic- 
tion brought out a dogged persistence which was 



xviii INTRODUCTION 

often needed in the face of failure. But while 
maintaining a bold front to the public, his letters 
showed continually how much criticism discouraged 
him. Though we recognize in "The Truth" 
some of his best and most characteristic work- 
manship — it having attained Continental dis- 
tinction — its initial production in New York 
was a failure. It was a play he believed in, and 
he. slaved to keep it on the stage. In this in- 
stance, criticism nearly killed him, "convincing 
me," so he wrote, "that it is impossible for me 
to succeed in New York with the present press, 
— which will mean my laying down my pen." 

This press served to accentuate two dominant 
traits in Clyde Fitch : his sensitiveness, and his 
patience. From the time of "Beau Brummell," 
he was constantly repudiated by the dramatic 
critic. Yet we know from experience that no 
more open-minded man could be found than he 
in his eagerness to welcome suggestion and in his 
readiness to accept advice. We have seen a 
lengthy letter of his analyzing, with some justi- 
fication, the stereotyped view of him held in 
America; whereas abroad his recognition was 
based on qualities never attributed to him at 
home. I fear, he said in substance, the press 
has crystallized toward me. On another occa- 
sion he asked a critic to see one of his plays over 



INTRODUCTION xix 

again, valuing his opinion, and personally dis- 
tressed that his opinion was a negative one. 
There was no vainglory about this; there was 
an earnest desire to have his work as right as he 
could see it and make it. 

In other words, there was nothing external 
after all in the representative plays of Clyde 
Fitch; they were all closely evolved out of his 
own personality; representative of his relation- 
ships, his outlook on life. He may have excelled 
in external detail, but the literary value of his 
work lies in the truth of his observation, and in 
the sincerity of his feeling for character. His 
thought was subservient to these, and sometimes 
overclouded by the cleverness of theatrical effect. 

Those who knew Clyde Fitch were at first 
drawn to him through a brilliancy of conversa- 
tion which, however sparkling in his dialogue, 
was brought within bounds as soon as set down 
in words. He had a great dislike for the medi- 
ocre. He had many worldly interests, and his 
quick action, coupled with these, gave the im- 
pression that he lacked the powers of contempla- 
tion, of concentration. Yet soon, association 
with Mr. Fitch revealed a reverence and an 
humbleness which brought into play a certain 
calm reflection of his religious life. We remember 
him being enthralled by the reading of Renan's 



XX INTRODUCTION 

"Life of Christ;" referring time and time again 
to the mystical devoutness of Maeterlinck. 
Some might disbelieve that he had deep-founded 
principles of faith; yet he was almost old-fash- 
ioned in his moral acceptances, though welcom- 
ing and intellectually tolerant of the broadness 
of others. In people near him he required per- 
manent rightness of thought, and reverence for 
the Real Thing, as his tradition taught him. 
He was once heard to say, "I can tell those that 
pray and those that do not." 

It was impressed very strongly upon Mr. 
Fitch's friends that he had other interests in 
life besides the theatre. Those things were 
necessary to him that developed the essential 
humanness of his nature. Slow to give his 
friendship, — though ever willing to give plenti- 
fully of his interest, — he clung to his permanent 
friends, even in the country, and less and less 
found satisfaction in the promiscuous associa- 
tions of social life. Even to his valet he was a 
hero, though nothing pleased him more than to 
" get a rise," as he would laughingly put it, 
out of his valet's implacable presence. We 
remember, after Mr. Fitch's death, the grief 
of his man — an old-fashioned type of French 
servant, whose devotion had been tested in 
many ways. "We shall never forget what you 



INTRODUCTION xxi 

have done/' a member of the family said, out 
of the fulness of the moment. And he replied 
simply: "A good master makes a good servant." 
Such was his tribute ! 

Loyalty was deeply ingrained in Mr. Fitch's 
character, nor was it a heedless offering of his 
friendship. There are many pictures of Clyde 
Fitch to conjure up in mind, the rarest being that 
of friend. We have noticed his letters signed 
"loyally yours," and they were addressed only 
to those who had been proven. He had great 
patience with the people he trusted, — and when 
he trusted, he did so unreservedly, even up to 
the very verge of doubt. His gratitude was 
abounding, and was called forth unexpectedly 
by the most insignificant thing. Many actors 
will remember how quick he was to detect in 
them the slightest evidence of generosity, accen- 
tuating it beyond its due proportion, and recall- 
ing it on all occasions. How well we understood 
that response in him which prompted him to add 
a postscript to one of his letters, " Give my love 
to those who remember me, and to those who 
don't, — if / love them." 

One could never quite forget the companion- 
ableness of the man. We remember once on a 
visit to him, hearing him call to us, "Don't you 
want to come down and have a cookie?" And 



1 



xxii INTRODUCTION 

when we came to the Terrace where he was 
working, there would be no cookie, and he would 
go on writing 1 But he knew that we were feel- 
ing the beauty of the country with him — were 
understanding beyond the mere necessity for 
interchange of words. 

/ This dramatist of city life was a great lover 

/of nature; he revelled in the out-of-doors; and 

! his garden was humanized for him. It was very 

I characteristic of him that even in the simple 

things of life his dramatic eye saw every detail 

with freshness, and he expressed what he saw 

with a vivacity, an unusualness, that gave life 

to the picture. When he was moving from ^^ Quiet 

Corner" to **The Other House," he wrote to a 

friend : 

**We are moving! ! The study is empty! 
There is hardly a picture left ! The walls show 
thin wounds ! 

'*I go daily to ' T. O. H.', buried in a heap of 
Old Masters, inside Pauline (Panhard). 

**Ed. is planting trees, and I am planting pic- 
tures, and Monday we hope the curtains- will 
sprout in the windows ; and Friday of next week 
I think the Katonah katydids will be singing my 
lullaby ! ! 

'* Awful scandal at * Q. C ! In the Spring we 
put nine goldfish in the pool, and, when Bridge 
emptied it out this morning, there were sixty- 
five!!! " 



INTRODUCTION xxiii 

And, with that never-failing hospitality of his, 
he added: 

" Why can't you make a real visit . . . and not 
just play *tag' with the trains?" 

** Quiet Corner," in Greenwich, was built so 
that Mr. Fitch might live most of the time out 
in the open; "The Other House," at Katonah, 
gave him joy because it brought within reach 
all the beauties of a car country. The latter 
house, it is our impression, offered him greater 
peace, and here he would turn with relief after 
hard work in the city. In May, his East For- 
tieth Street house lost its holding power on him. 
"It mortifies me," he writes, "to imagine what 
the lilacs must be thinking of us for not coming 
out. When I left, they had their little buds 
all ready to unpack! and the syringa bush was 
giggli^^g with little leaves ! ! " 

On one of his very last rides around Katonah, 
before going abroad on his final trip, he spoke 
of the glories of the Fall, and the burning red of 
the trees. And his heart seemed to go otit to an 
old countryman on the road, who, all smiles, 
passed us with a nosegay in his ragged button- 
hole. "Behind that flower is love," exclaimed 
Mr. Fitch. 

This spirit in him often found expression in his 



xxiv INTRODUCTION 

correspondence. "I love the world," he wrote. 
And this expansion came over him not suddenly 
but by slow process of spiritual deepening. 
For there was a time when Clyde Fitch might 
easily have fallen into the ways of dilettantism — 
those Sherwood Studio days on Fifty-seventh 
Street, when social life was trying to overcome 
his desires to work. And the exactions of a suc- 
cessful career imposed upon him many of the 
surface responsibilities, -until that deepening of 
the spiritual side of him began to alter his entire 
approach toward life, — an altering that meant 
a clearer assertion of his philosophy. This is 
seen in flashes of his later dialogue, and was 
strongly marked in ^*The City," which was not 
only uttered in strength of conviction, but was 
physically written with defined intention of 
purpose. His handwriting seemed to have gained 
a firmer stroke. 

More and more he began to value, above all 
other experiences, the Real Things in life. This 
is very apparent in his work — the increasing 
maturity of which can be detected from play 
to play along the entire course of his writing. 
Though he may have dealt, as a satirist, with 
the shams of social life, the thing that struck 
most people who came in contact with Clyde 
Fitch was that he was eminently sincere. And 



INTRODUCTION xxv 

that sincerity he looked for in the approach of 
others. We do not recollect that he was given 
to retort unless it was called for by some insin- 
cerity of a friend, or some false statement of a 
critic. And when that was the case, the occasion 
brought from him characteristic touches of un- 
derstanding, and a true measure of the Real 
Thing. 

An Editor once sent him the first three num- 
bers of a new magazine, in which some reference 
had been made to him and his work. We quote 
his acknowledgment intact, for it exemplifies an 
originality of phrase, a generous interest in 
current literary matters, and, above all, an 
outspoken expression of belief as regards himself. 

** Since writing you,'* [it runs] *' IVe been able 
to take up your three numbers, and with much 
interest. I congratulate you on an individual 
tone which you have certainly attained. The 
magazine has character. ... In my own field, 
however — ! Your writer is in earnest, and 
evidently deserves a good end, but I regret to 
find he is not working on new lines, or with new 
thoughts. He is not of the early Victorian 
Period, but I should say of the early McKinley. 
He repeats the old theories, the old formulas, of 
what is good and what isn't, the point of view 
about our drama of over a dozen years ago, 
when the whole thing was stereotyped. Your 
writer does not feel the new current. I mean 



xxvi INTRODUCTION 

just that, exactly, — he floats on the surface, 
and sees only the surface. Clothes are not the 
mail, though they may be characteristic of him. 
Your writer does not seem to me to reahze what 
is underneath^ which is the Real Thing. The 
Real Thing exists without a surface, but the sur- 
face adds to it one more note of value, besides 
its own personal value of being an individual 
characteristic. Wherefore: when your writer 
says of my work that it is * still chiefly a display 
of dramatic millinery,' then, for me, whatever 
he may say of the drama is worthless. No one 
knows better than I that my work is/w// of faults ; 
that's why I go on writing, — to correct them, — 
at least it's one reason why. But your man 
hasn't hit the right faults — not by a long shot 1 
At least, / think that ; I may be wrong. All this 
because I had a few moments, and the tele- 
phone bell hasn't rung since I began." 

When Mr. Fitch moved to Katonah from 
Greenwich, he seemed to take a different hold 
on life; the negatives of existence were halted. 
His health had been almost undermined by the 
exactions of a busy career, and now he was 
beginning to hate all things that suggested vac- 
illation, weakness, or ill-health. We have met 
him often on the East Terrace of "The Other 
House," seeing with an eye as profoundly simple 
as Wordsworth's, when he wrote his simplest 
lyric. "It was a lovely day, to-day," he declares 



INTRODUCTION xxvii 

in a note, dated May, 1909, "... All afternoon 
IVe been out on the Terrace. The swans be- 
haved like angels! Even a white pond lily 
spread her wings on the pool. The peacock 
spread his tail — and you weren't there! I 
couldn't bear your not seeing all the poetry and 
beauty in the day — and now (it is seven o'clock) 
there is that divine murmuring sunset-light 
everywhere about!" 

Again in June of that year, there is this spon- 
taneous expression of himself: "IVe just come- 
in from a walk with Buck, Betsy, and Fiametta 
[his dogs]. We walked across the meadow in the' 
moonlight. The swans sailed softly mirrored, 
like Narcissus in the pool, and up in the rose 
garden it was thick with fireflies ! 1 It was ex- 
quisitely beautiful." 

This poetic quality was ever alive, and made 
of him a splendid companion on a journey. Noth- 
ing seemed to escape his quick observation, and 
he was able to convert the impression almost 
simultaneously into terms of human value. 
Travelling extensively, he picked up here and 
there chance acquaintances, from whom he gained 
a transitory enjoyment which was delightfully 
described in his letters. On such occasions his 
humor was never-failing in its assertion. There 
was a home quality about Clyde Fitch that few 



xxviii INTRODUCTION 

people believed he had, simply because his work 
kept him so constantly on the go. A jotting, 
dated January, 1906, expressed eloquently his 
feelings on the subject. ^^Had a hotelly dinner 
in a hotelly hotel. Rehearsals going well — 
but what a life for a man who isn't in the drummer 
business ! ! " 

On the steamer, on the railroad train, he was 
ever alert in the study of his companions. When 
he saw one, seemingly in lonely mood, he was 
drawn to him through a sympathy which he was 
ever ready to show. Sometimes, these impul- 
sive moves on his part rewarded him beyond his 
expectations. It was on an ocean liner that 
chance brought him in contact with an elderly 
lady of the Old School, whose friendship he always 
held in deepest consideration, and whose corre- 
spondence with him was a constant source of 
inspiration. On the other hand, in carriage 
compartments he would often meet with con- 
versationalists who amused him up to the mo- 
ment of unsought-for advice. '* Don't stop off 
at Pisa," one of these chance acquaintances 
pleaded, ^Hhere's nothing to see there but the 
tower," and then he added, in the spirit of the 
perfect utiHtarian, "You can see that from the 
train." Yet "I got out," adds Mr. Fitch in a 
letter, "and have been here for three days." 



INTRODUCTION xxix 

How the beauty must have steeped his soul is 
detected in the mood of what follows: "The 
nights in these beautiful towns are all sad nights. 
One feels the need of some one to sit in silence 
with.'' 

It was characteristic of Mr. Fitch that quick- 
ness of humor went side by side with a heart 
quality which made his humor all the more lov- 
able. This gave a brilliant flash to his corre- 
spondence that desultory quoting can only sug- 
gest. Yet these suggestions reveal an inherited 
fund of native freshness. "Am bringing over 
with me an i860 English cook," he remarks from 
London, in 1901, "who looks like a hair-cloth 
and rose- wood armchair — an ugly one." In 
another breath he is referring to a dinner engage- 
ment which forces him to cut short his letter. 
"I wish I could be chloroformed," he declared. 
He had the amusing habit of making light of his 
own discomforts as a seaman, and, in a log kept 
of a typical day and night aboard, we find such 
entries as, "8:00. Try to sleep on my back. 
8 : 30. Vice versa." 

This infinite variety, so manifest in infinite 
ways, is what made the friendship of Clyde Fitch 
a rare day in the affections. If he was among 
his flowers, he showed personal care for each 
rose bush. His animals and birds received from 



XXX INTRODUCTION 

him a goodly share of his day's attention. Even 
in the midst of strenuous work, with guests in 
the house, he would write. with a wonderful power 
of giving everything and everyone personal con- 
sideration. He possessed a rare ability of self- 
effacement. Yet no one was more delighted 
than he when a person for whom he cared showed 
interest in what he was doing. 

Then it was that he would talk of his characters, 
and of the situations he had recently invented, 
and he would ask advice as though he were in 
collaboration. Were the guest fortunate enough 
to be taken even deeper into his confidence, 
probably Mr. Fitch would read the newest play 
to him. And that was no mean opportunity, 
for it was a saying among theatrical people, "If 
you don't want to accept a play by Clyde Fitch 
on the spot, don't let him read it to you !" Our 
memory retains vividly the details of that even- 
ing '^The City" was finished — in the rough 
state just before final revision. He read it aloud ; 
the graphic power of his acting in the quiet of 
the country, far into the early hours of the 
morning, is never to be forgotten. Though he 
never went on the stage, his ability to illustrate 
what he was anxious to obtain in acting, was 
constantly manifest. And his gratefulness to 
the actor who worked with him to gain these 



INTRODUCTION ..x:j 

effects was never-failing. To one of them he 
wrote, just after having been interviewed: *'I 
said the most enthusiastic things I could think 
of, of you — because I feel them." Such enthusi- 
asm for the individual always culminated with 
him in such exclamations as, ^^God bless the 
personal equation — and God bless you." In 
November of 1908, a letter contained some refer- 
ence which illustrated in poignant fashion his 
gratitude for the actor's faithfulness. ''Alas, 

poor ," he wrote, "is getting . too 

old, and we have to change her. It breaks 
my heart; I fear it will nearly kill her. I 
am writing in a bit for her in the last act, so 
as to keep her in the company. ..." It was 
this quality in him that made him considerate — 
often far too considerate — of the appeals which 
deluged his mail daily. One only had to have a 
sincere ring to a request to elicit a quick response, 
and to obtain an appointment. And if Mr. Fitch 
thought there was a possibility of using such 
a person to their mutual advantage, he would 
motor miles in order to keep such an appoint- 
ment. There was no saving of himself. Had 
there been, his vitality might have withstood 
the sudden illness at Ch^lons-sur-Marne, which 
resulted in his death on September 4, 1909. 
To use a phrase formulated by Dr. Percy Grant 



xxxii INTRODUCTION 

on the occasion of the dramatist's funeral, such 
is the Clyde Fitch we recall, when we "listen 
to our memories." His own plays and their stage 
history will bear witness to what he was as a 
craftsman, as a force in American drama. We 
have only here tried, out of the fulness of our 
recollection, to give some idea of the warm-hearted 
presence of the man. 

A complete list of Mr. Fitch's plays will be 
found below.^ It has been our endeavor here 

^The following is a list of original plays by Mr. Fitch. 
Adaptations and pieces written in collaboration are not 
included. "Betty's Finish" (1890), '' Beau Brumm ell " 
(1890), " Frederic Lemaitre " (1890), '* A Modem Match " 
(^i), "Pamela's Prodigy" (1891), "The Harvest" 
(1893. This play, in one act, was presented before the 
Letters and Arts Club, of Boston, and was afterwards used 
in "The Moth and the Flame.'-'), "The Social Swim" 
(1893), "His Grace de Grammont " (1894), "April 
Weather " (1894), " Mistress Betty " (1895. Subsequently 
revived as "The Toast of the Town."), ** Nathan Hale" 
(i8q8} . " The Moth and the Flame " (1898), " The Cowboy 
and the Lady " (1899), " Barbara Frietchie " (1899), " The 
Climbers " (1901), " Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines " 
(1901), ** Lovers' Lan a^ (iQoi)' "The Last of the Dan- 
dies" (1901), "The Way of the World" (1901), "The 
Girl and the Judge" (1901), "The Stubbornness of 
Geraldine " (1902), " The Girl with the Green Eyes " (1902), 
"Her Own Way " (1903), " Major Andr6 " (1903), " Glad 
of It " (1903), " The Coronet of a Duchess " (1904), " The 
Woman in the Case " (1905), " Her Great Match " (1905), 



INTRODUCTION xxxiii 

to select what we considered to be a representa- 
tive group of his best — plays most of which have 
been identified with long runs, many revivals, 
and varied "stars." In the latter respect, we 
can instance no American dramatist whose work 
is so closely related to the careers of American 
actors and actresses. One need only mention 
the name of "Beau Brummell" to conjure up 
the figure qf the late Richard Mansfield in the 
minute finesse of the part. "Barbara Frietchie" 
could not now be revived without inevitably chal- 
lenging comparison with the ideal set by Julia 
Marlowe. "Captain Jinks of the Horse Ma- 
rines" reflected the freshness of Ethel Barrymore 
at the very outset of her career. Theatregoers of 
over a decade in range will treasure the excellence 
of Mary Mannering in "The Stubbornness of 
Geraldine," of Mrs. Clara Bloodgood in "The 
Truth" and in "The Girl with the Green Eyes." 
Then there was Maxine Elliott, whose early 
career was largely enriched by her work in "Na- 
than Hale" and "Her Own Way; " and Amelia 
Bingham in "The Climbers." So we might 
go through a longer list of professional associa- 
tion. It may be said in truth that through his 

"The Truth" (1906), " The Straight Road " (1906), " A 
Happy Marriage " (1909), "The Bachelor" (1909), *'The 
City " (1909). 



^ 



tedv INTRODUCTION 

efforts, many a player was brought rapidly to 
the front. In the making of "stars" he was 
noted, though sometimes he failed, as in the 
instance of "Major Andre," in which he was 
convinced that his friend, Arthur Byron, would 
meet with deserved recognition. His correspond- 
ence with Mr. Byron contains ample evidence 
of his generosity of spirit; reveals likewise his 
ever alert interest in a production. jOnce he had 
determined to write a play for an actor, he was 
ever thoughtful of taking the actor into his confi- 
dence. All through his rehearsing of " Andre, " he 
was sending Mr. Byron details of his plans. Now 
it is, "I have thought of some good business for 
'Andre,'" or again, "I do not want the regula- 
tion colonial designs." On his trip abroad, dur- 
ing the preparations for this play, he began to 
chafe over the smallness of the stage in the Savoy 
Theatre, where "Andre" was booked to open. 
Doubtless, in his visit to European theatres, he 
had seen novelties he wanted to introduce but 
could not. One can detect a note of desire in 
his declaration that he had seen "some very 
beautiful staging and lighting. I wish we had 
more room in the Savoy Theatre." But Mr. 
Fitch was never one to aim at huge effects ; there 
was more delicacy in his workmanship — a deli- 
cacy well brought out in his "bloodless" war 



INTRODUCTION xxxv 

dramas, like "Nathan Hale" and "Barbara 
Frietchie." He recognized that the American 
manager was fine — the word underlined five 
times — as a stage manager of big effects, " and 
equally bad of subtle ones." All during the ar- 
rangements for "Andre," Mr. Fitch was largely 
concerned about the future of his friend. It was 
this concern that prompted him to write, "You 
know my interest in you is not bounded by 
* Andre' ; it is bounded by Byron ! and if * Andre' 
fails, we must have something else." 

His correspondence with Mr. Byron contains 
reference after reference for him to read up on the 
dress of Andre, and in order to' create in the actor 
and manager a distinct feeling for the time and 
place, Mr. Fitch motorod Mr. McKee and Mr. By- 
ron to the exact spot where Andre was captured. 
"We saw the spot . . . ," he writes, "the prison 
where he spent his last night, and the stone that 
marks the place where he was hung. The latter 
on a hill with the sun red behind it, and the moon 
already risen in front. It was a beautiful sight, 
and so full of romance feeling. I am pretty well 
worn out! It has been my most difficult task, 
and nothing ready yet ! It all lies closer to my 
heart, I think, than any other play." 

Such was his feeling at the moment ; but when 
the papers rejected it, he confessed to Byron that 



xxxvi INTRODUCTION 

"our failure to draw has at least been a dignified 
one." And with renewed energy he turned his 
attention to another play. 

Such was the attitude of Clyde Fitch toward 
all with whom he came in contact. It is true 
that many of his plays were written for definite 
actors; long before he put pen to paper he was 
feeling his way for people he wanted in his casts 
— and he was in that position, as a successful 
playwright, where he could indicate to his man- 
agers what he wanted. They usually let him 
have charge of the preparations. At the time of 
his death he had practically arranged for the whole 
personnel of "Tl^e City;" he had selected his 
"star" for a farce which was well under way ; and 
he was negotiating with'^a young woman whose 
career he had watched with interest, and whose 
talent he beHeved in. Add to this the fact that, 
during the year 1909, "The Truth" had been 
played in nearly every large theatrical centre in 
Europe, and that "The Woman in the Case" 
had just taken London by storm, and we are 
justified in claiming that, at the time of the 
death of Clyde Fitch, he was among the foremost 
of American dramatists, and certainly the best 
known abroad. 

If possible, Europe received him with greater 
eclat than he was ever given in his own country. 



INTRODUCTION xxxvii 

Writing from Hamburg, in April, 1908, he claims 
that neither in France nor Germany can he find 
any good plays to adapt, for they are "very 
talky-talky, and all hard brilliancy ; no heart or 
big nature behind them. But this is what the 
Italian press call my Puritanism, The papers 
are very good in Italy for 'The Truth,' La Verity, 
but they complain of my Puritanism. They say 
I have 'exquisite wit,' 'originality,' and 'deep 
psychology,' but I think they were a little dis- 
appointed there were no Indians in it." 

♦ * « 4c 4c * 4c 

This first volume of the Memorial Edition 
contains two examples of Clyde Fitch's genuine 
love for special atmosphere. He got into a 
period with precision; Tie instinctively felt it; 
and he worked for every little effect which would 
accentuate it. As someone said of "Captain. 
Jinks," there was no mistaking it for the peric/a 
of the hoop skirt ; it was distinctly of 1872, when 
the bustle was d la mode, ^ 

The career of Mr. Fitch really beg^ 1^ ith the 
success of "Beau Brummell." Tb^e lies before 
us as we write a faded scenari^^as it was first 
presented to Mr. Mansfield ; we have also a letter, 
dated November 6, 1889, while he was living at 
the Sherwood Studios, which sets at rest all dis- 
putes regarding his authentic connection with 



xxxviii INTRODUCTION 

the play. It is a youthful letter, splendidly joy- 
ful. And it may be said that it was ever his 
habit, eVen in the after years of his success, to 
greet each new commission with the sime ful- 
ness of expectation. "My dear ,'' he writes, 

" I have been kept from answering your kind letter 
because I have not been able to know if I am to 
be in town Saturday or not. Now, however, I 
thinli it most likely that I shall be, and in that 
case will accept your invitation with eagerness, if 
you wish to have me with this mite of uncer- 
tainty. It is all apropos of something wonder- 
ful for me, which is also a very great secret. . . . 
Negotiations are on the tapis for a play to be 
written for RICHARD MANSFIELD by WM. 
CLYDE FITCH, and I am awaiting a dispatch 
now to go to Philadelphia to clinch things with 
^^^nsfield, who is playing there this week. It 
aft may elude my grasp, as so many things have 
done, but if it doesn't,, isn't it, oh, isn't it an 
opportunity! The subject of the play is to be 
'Beau ?3rummell'. ... I am not settled yet, 
and I have had two teeth pulled ! ! but those thai 
are left and I are, Faithfully yours, W. C. F." 
It seems, however, that the engagement of Mr. 
Fitch for supper was not kept, but instead came 
the welcome news that IT, meaning the scenario, 
had been accepted. Then, on December loth, 



INTRODUCTION xxxix 

word was sent that he and Mansfield were 
working daily, talking and planning, and arrang- 
ing for early rehearsals. 

It was Mr. E. A. Dithmar, of the New York 
Times, who was instrumental in bringing Mansfield 
and Clyde Fitch together, for he knew that here 
was a subject well suited to the artistic taste of 
his young friend. Indeed, there was a pictur- 
esqueness about the meteoric rise and fall of the 
Beau which always had appealed to Mr. Fitch — 
the detailed elegance which was as much a joy 
for him to externalize as it was for Mr. Mansfield 
to depict. Despite those critics who dismissed 
the play with the casual comment that there was 
nothing in Brummell's life of a dramatic character, 
Mr. Fitch and Mr. Mansfield found copious 
material for graphic portraiture. While the 
play was always close to his heart, Mr. Fitch 
nevertheless recognized in it during after years 
a great amount of plot machinery which his 
maturer technique would never have been satis- 
fied to let remain. But ^*Beau Brummeir^ is 
nevertheless a distinct piece of genre work. He 
was to return to the Beau theme once more in 
"The Last of the Dandies,'' but we believe it 
true that had he approached the subject with 
less seriousness — for here he became engrossed 
in the father-love of his Dandy — had he used 



\ 



xl INTRODUCTION 

the same surface feeling he put into "Beau Brum- 
mell," he would have duplicated his success. 

"Lovers' Lane'' was written several years 
before it was produced. It was at first called 
"The Parson," and [Sir] George Alexander, the 
English actor, accepted it for his theatre. But 
he failed to make use of it within the stipulated 
time. Its theme is of the simplest order, and 
was called forth by the challenge that Mr. Fitch 
would be unable to create characters other than 
those of a period or of the city. But though 
Clyde Fitch was identified in his plays with a 
certain social level, "Lovers' Lane" is a pleasant 
departure, showing his sympathy with the coun- 
try type. The character of the Minister, and 
the little incident of his constant interruptions, 
appealed strongly to him. 
f The staging of "Nathan Hale" was a matter 

that won his undivided attention. He always 
placed great importance on lights, and he felt 
how much that early cool daybreak light, turning 
into sunrise, with the first twitter of birds in the 
trees, meant in the creation of that ineffable 
sadness of the final scene, with Nathan Hale under 
the blue sky and beneath the apple blossoms, 
brought forth to die. In the same spirit he 
worked in "Barbara Frietchie" for the after- 
supper light of a Southern summer evening. 



INTRODUCTION xli 

It often happened that Mr. Fitch was his own 
competitor in a theatrical season. For example, 
when ** Lovers' Lane'' was given its premUn, 
there were running at the time in New York, 
** Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines," "Barbara 
Frietchie," and "The CUmbers." "The Cowboy 
and the Lady" was first produced in Philadelphia, 
with great success, "and is doing even a bigger 
business than ' Hale,' " wrote Mr. Fitch. "I am 
sorry to have it beat * Hale,' but if any play is go- 
ing to beat it, I'd rather it was one of mine, eh?" 

There was something very personal about 
the stage management of Clyde Fitch, and the 
time will come when a mass of data — comments 
of his own, and those of his associates — will be 
brought together in some fuller reflection than 
has here been attempted. Such a compilation 
will illustrate his unswerving devotion to his 
craft, and his serious realization of his duty to 
the public. The majority of his plays would 
stand revival now, because of their essential human 
appeal, and because the characters are eternally 
true. Very slight alteration had to be made 
in "The Truth" when it was revived in the 
Spring of 19 14. The very permanence of litera- 
ture is due, not to material truthfulness, but 
to the realization of constant human factors. 
, This realization was caught by Mr. Pitch with 






xlii INTRODUCTION 

originality, deftness, and a certain swift wit. 
There was a vein in him native of New^ York 
dty, but it was more truly native of Clyde Fitch, 
the man. 

It is our firm belief that, through the plays 
contained in this Memorial Edition, readers 
will discover much that "maketh indeed a faire 
day in the Affections." Even if there was not 
the testimony of his friends, one would be able 
to detect in his written word the manner of man 
we have here so sketchily portrayed. For, as 
Matthew Arnold says, in his poem on **The 
Future," " As what he sees is, so have his thoughts 

been." 

Montrose J. Moses, 
Virginia Gerson. 

New York, 
July, 1915. 



CONTENTS 

Page 
fNTlODUCnON V 

Beau Brummell i 

Lovers' Lane 209 

Nathan Hale 407 



BEAU BRUMMELL 

A PLAY IN FOUR ACTS 
Written for RICHARD MANSFIELD 



Copyright, xgoS, 
By little, brown, AND COMPANY. 

ALL RIGHTS RBSBRVBD 



This play is fully protected by the copyright law, all requirements of 
which have been complied with. In its present printed form it is dedi- 
cated to the reading public only, and no performance of it may be given 
without the written permission of Mrs. Richard Mansfield, owner of the 
acting rights, who may be addressed in care of the publishers. 

The subjoined is an extract from the law relating to copyright. 

Sec. 4966. Any person publicly performing or representing any dra- 
matic or musical composition for which a copyright has been obtained, 
without the consent of the proprietor of said dramatic or musical 
composition, or his heirs or assign;, shall be liable for damages therefor, 
such damages in all cases to be assessed at such sum not less than 
$100.00 for the first and $50.00 for every subsequent performance, as to 
the court shall appear to be just. 

If the unlawful performance and representation be willful and for 
profit, such person or persons .shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon 
conviction be imprisoned for a period not exceeding one year. 



NOTE 

CT^HE idea of this Flay was Richard Mansfield^ s^ 
and the author gratefully acknowledges his debt 
to the actor for innumerable suggestions. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 



THE FIRST ACT. First Scene. The morning toilet 
Mr. Brummell despatches a proposal of marriage^ 
assists his nephew^ and sends for a neiv tailor. 

Second Scene. The Beau receives a number of 
friends, and makes an unfortunate blunder. 

THE SECOND ACT. A small and early party at Carl- 
ton House. Mr. Brummell proposes to an heiress, 
and reprimands a Prince. 

THE THIRD ACT. The Mall, and how it came about 
that Mr. Brummell had a previous engagemei"t 
with His Majesty. 

THE FOURTH ACT. First Scene. Mr. BrummelPs 
lodgings in Calais. 

(Six months later.) 

Second Scene. The attic at Caen. A very poor 
dinner with an excellent dessert. 



THE PERSONS IN THE PLAY 



The Prince of Wales. Heir apparent to the throne of 
Englattd, 

Beau Brummell. Prince of dandies. 

Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Playivright. 

Reginald Courtenay. Nepheiv to the Beau. 

Mortimer. Valet and confidential servant to the Beau, 

Mr. Oliver Vincent. A self made merchant^ father of 
Mariana. 

Lord Manly. A fop. 

Mr. Abrahams. A money-lender. 

Bailiffs. 

Prince's Footman. 

Simpson. Footman to Beau. 

The Duchess of Leamington. Middle-aged^ but very 
anxious to appear young. 

Mariana Vincent. Young and beautiful^ beloved by Beau 
and Reginald. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. Passee but still beautiful — very anxious 
to captivate the Prince^ but unwilling to resign the Beau. 

Kathleen. Irish maid of Mariana. 

Lady Farthingale. Pretty — insipid. 

A French Lodging-house Keeper. 

A Nurse. 



This play was first produced at the Madison 
Square Theatre by Richard Mansfield, on Majr^^T, 
1^820. The 250th representation took place at the 
Garden Theatre, on January 30, 1891. The cast 
on this occasion was 

Beau Brummell Mr. Richard Mansfield 

The Prince of Wales Mr. D. H. Harkins 

Richard Brinsley Sheridan .... Mr. A. G. Andrews 

Lord Manly Mr. H. G. Lonsdale 

Reginald Courtenay Mr. Vincent Sternroyd 

Mortimer Mr. W. J. Ferguson 

Mr. Abrahams Mr. Harry Gwynette 

Simpson Mr. Smiles 

T, .,.«. / Mr. Gwynette and 

Bailiffs 1 u, T T^ 

I Mr. Ivan Peronette 

Prince's Footman Mr. F. F. Graham 

Mr. Oliver Vincent Mr. W. H. Crompton 

Mariana Vincent Miss Beatrice Cameron 

Kathleen Miss Ethel Sprague 

The Duchess of Leamington .... Mrs. Julia Brutone 

Lady Farthingale . . " Miss Helen Glidden 

French Lodging-house Keeper . . . Miss Hazel Selden 

Nurse Miss Genevra Campbell 

Mrs. St. Aubyn Miss Adela Measor 



f 



/ 



THE FIRST ACT 

Scene One 

The scene represents the Beau's dressing-room. 
A cheerful roomy furnished more like a lady^s 
boudoir than a man^s dressing-room. A 
handsome dressing-table, covered with a bewilder- 
ing array of silver-topped bottles, stands at the 
Left. A large cheval-glass stands in front of a 
bay window opening out on a balcony. The 
curtains are open. The door at the back leads 
into the Beau's bedroom. A table stands at 
one side, with books and papers in precise 
order. A door at the left-hand side leads into 
an ante-room where visitors are detained until 
the great man wishes to see them. 
Mortimer, the Beau's valet and really con- 

II 



12 BEAU BRUMMELL 

fidential servant^ is discovered sitting on sofa, 
head back, face covered with handkerchief; le 
has evidently been asleep. It is about noon, 
[Mortimer removes handkerchief, yawns and 

speaks, 
Mortimer. Up till four this morning ! It was 
pretty lively at the club last night, but I have lost 
all my beauty sleep to pay for it. I don't know 
how much longer we will be able to continue this 
style of living. Our nerves will give out if our 
credit doesn't. Mr. Brummell only turned over 
twice and then took to his chocolate. That 
means he will only be half an hour at his bath — 
time for a nap. [Replaces handkerchief. 

[Enter Simpson through door from ante-room. 
Simpson is the regulation footman, with pow- 
dered hair atid livery. 
Simpson. [At Left.] Mr. Mortimer, sir, Mr. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 13 

Abrahams has just called. He particularly 
wishes to see you, sir. 

[Going toward Mortimer. 

Mortimer. [Starting and removing handker- 
chief,] Hang Abrahams, what's he after ? Dear 
me! It can't be that he thinks of collecting 
those I. O. U.'s of mine. [Rising, 

Simpson. \Who has a great respect for Mor- 
timer. Very deferentially,] Been losing again, 
sir? 

Mortimer. [Loftily,] Yes, Simpson, pretty 
high stakes last night, and one must play, you 
know. 

Simpson. Mr. Mortimer, sir, you couldn't 
propose me in your club, could you, sir? 

Mortimer. [Haughtily and then more kindly, 
as he sees Simpson's downcast face.] No, Simpson, 
not in your present position, you know ; but if 



14 BEAU BRUMMELL 

you should ever raise yourself, depend upon me 
to use all my influence for you. 

Simpson. [Gratefully,] Oh, thank you, sir, I'm 
sure, [goin^ but what about Mr. Abrahams, sir? 

Mortimer. [Seating himself,] Oh, damn Abra- 
hams! 

[Enter Abrahams from ante-room, hat and cane 
in hand, Abrahams is the typical Jew money- 
lender of the period, exaggerated in dress and 
manner, 

Abrahams. [Advancing just as Simpson 
crosses back of table and exits, giving him a 
look of haughty disdain,] No you don't, Mr. 
Mortimer; no, you don't, not yet. Where's 
your master? 

Mortimer. Excuse me, where's my gentleman, 
you mean, Mr. Abrahams. [Rising,] I am a 
gentleman's gentleman ; I have no master. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 15 

Abrahams. [At Left Centre,] Oh, you haven^t 
a master, haven't you? Well, now, suppose I 
was to come down on you with some of your little 
I. O. U.'s, I wonder then if you'd have a master. 
Where's Mr. Brummell? 

Mortimer: Mr. Brunmiell has not yet ap- 
peared. 

Abrahams. [Sitting down as if to wait,] 
Inform him that Mr. Abrahams wishes to see him. 

Mortimer. [Shocked,] I repeat, sir, he is not 
up. 

Abrahams. Well, then, my good fellow, it's 
time he were up. Tell him I said so. 

Mortimer. It is as much as my position is 
worth, sir, to go to him at this hour. You must 
call again, Mr. Abrahams. 

Abrahams. [Rising,] Call again ! Call 
again ! This is the seventh time I've called again. 



1 6 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Mortimer. [Trying now to placate him.] Yes 
— eh — if you please, Mr. Abrahams. 

Abrahams. No, sir ; I must see him now. I'm 
in need of money myself, and I must get it from 
Mr. Brummell. My creditors are pressing me, 
and they force me to do the same. [Loudly.] 
I regret the necessity, but I am determined upon 
seeing him. 

Mortimer. [Who is so shocked he can hardly 
speak.] Not so loud, Mr. Abrahams, not so loud. 
If Mr. Brummell were to hear you, he'd be dis- 
tressed. Besides, he never tolerates any one 
who raises his voice unnecessarily. If he should 
hear you, you might never be paid. 

Abrahams. [Aghast at the thought.] What! 

Mortimer. [Hands raised in horror.] Sh! Sh! 

Abrahams. What! 

[Whispering in Mortimer's ear. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 17 

Mortimer. [Looking at Abrail\ms otit of the 
corner of his eye,] Upon my honor, Mr. Brum- 
mell was saying only yesterday he thought he 
would pay Mr. Abrahams. 

Abrahams. [A little more calmly,] Then why 
hasn't he done so? 

Mortimer. Mr. Brummell only said it yester- 
day, and Mr. Brummell never does anything in a 
hurry. 

Abrahams. Is four years a hurry? Well, 
this is the last time that I will be put off. Do you 
follow me — the last time ! And now, when am 
I to have your little sums? 

Mortimer. [Taking out handkerchief and wip- 
ing eyes,] Mine! Oh, I have a wealthy aunt, 
who is now dying in Clapham, Mr. Abrahams, 
and I am her sole heir. I fear I must beg you to 
wait until after her funeral. 



i8 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Abrahams. [At Left Centre, Really puzzled,] 
It is very strange, a very large number of my 
clients have wealthy aunts who are dying, but 
they don't die. They all appear to be affected 
with a most lingering sickness. However, Mr. 
Brummell has no such relative, and I believe, on 
consideration, that I will wait for him this morn- 
ing. [Sits in chair by table. 

Mortimer. \Who is now determined to get rid 
oj hiftty crossing to Abrahams.] No, really, Mr. 
Abrahams, you must go. Mr. Brummell would 
not see you until his toilet is completed; and, 
indeed, if he would, he could transact no business 
in deshabille, 

Abrahams. In what ? [Jumps up,] Oh, very 
well, very well ; but advise him this is the last 
time I will be dismissed without seeing him. The 
next time I call, I will see him whether he is in 



BEAU BRUMMELL 19 

desh — desh — or nothing. I will have my 
money. I will have my money. 

[All the while he is saying this, Mortimer is 
pushing him gently of through the ante-room. 
Mortimer ushers Abrahams of at the Left, 
then crosses to the Right Centre, and turns 
away with a sigh of relief as Simpson enters 
very hurriedly, 
Simpson. Mr. Mortimer, sir, there are a num- 
ber of people waiting with their accounts to see 
Mr. Brummell. What shall I say, sir? 

Mortimer. [Resignedly,] Get a list of their 
names, Simpson, and tell them I'll call around 
and see them to-day. 
Simpson. Very well, sir. 
[Exit Simpson through ante-room, A murmur of 

voices is heard there, 
Mortimer. Affairs are very shaky. It was 



20 BEAU BRUMMELL 

only three days since Abrahams called. Accord- 
ing to this he will return again to-morrow. 

[Sits in chair in front of dressing-case, makes 
himself comfortable, and is about to fall asleep 
when Kathleen appears at door and peeps in, 

Kathleen. [In door at Left, She is Mari- 
ana's Irish maid, very pretty and piquant,] 
Pst ! Pst ! 

[Mortimer starts and listens, then composes 
himself for another nap, 

Kathleen. Pst! Pst! 

Mortimer. [Still seated,] I did drink pretty 
heavily last night, but I hardly thought it af- 
fected me, 

Kathleen. Hello! 

Mortimer. [Rising,] Who is it? What is it? 

Kathleen. [Still in door. With pretty im- 
patience,] Is it all right, — can I come in ? 



BEAU BRUM M ELL 21 

Mortimer. [Laughingly,] Look here, Kath- 
leen, are you going to indulge in that sort of thing 
when we are married ? 

Kathleen. Can I come in? 

[Comes in a Jew steps. 

Mortimer. [Crossing to Centre,] Yes, it's all 
right now. Mr. Brummell is finishing the first 
part of his toilet ; he won't be out for some time 
yet. Well, what do you want, you little minx? 

[Chucks her under chin, 

Kathleen. [Tossing her head,] Minx, indeed ! 
[Crossing to Right,] I dropped in to find out what's 
your intentions. Mr. Sheridan's gentleman has 
become very pressing in his, and won't be held 
off much longer. Now, is it marriage with you, 
Mr. Mortimer, or is it a breaking off, Mr. Mor- 
timer? Am I to be worn in your coat like a 
flower and thrown aside when I'm withered, or 



22 BEAU BRUMMELL 

am I to be pressed in the album of your afifections, 
Mr. Mortimer? I. own there is an air about 
Mr. Brummell, and I should not be averse to a 
connection with the family. [Quite seriously, 

Mortimer. [Just as seriously,] And I mean 
you shall have it, Kathleen, for you would be- 
come our position. But the fact is, I can't 
afford to marry while Mr. BrummelFs money 
matters are so bad. I tell you his social position 
is like a halo, — it is glory all round him, but 
there's a hollow in the middle. 

Kathleen. \With a sudden thought,] Mr. 
Mortimer! We must marry Mr. Brummell! 
First, we must procure a list of the heiresses. 

Mortimer. [Slyly,] I understand there is a 
heap of money in your family. 

Kathleen. [Dubiously,] But there's one ob- 
stacle — Miss Mariana's affections are already 
engaged. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 23 

Mortimer. Indeed, to whom? 

Kathleen. That's what I can't find out. 
The diwle never signs any of his letters. I can 
promise you one thing, he isn't very high, and 
Miss Mariana's father has forbid him the house, 
and swears she shan't have him. Mr. Vincent, 
oh, ho ! he's all for position and fashion. 

Mortimer. [Puts arm around her waist and 
they walk up and down,] Then Mr. Vincent would 
be glad to marry her to Mr. Brummell. We'll 
enlist him on our side. Now there are two diflS- 
culties with Mr. Brummell — first, he is, just at 
present, very friendly with Mrs. St. Aubyn. 
Still, I think I can get him out of that predica- 
ment, and then you see Mr. Brummell is so 
demmed particular, — the young lady must be 
correct to a hair in every respect — 

Kathleen. [Affectedly.] Lord, Mr. Morty, 



24 BEAU BRUMMELL 

you needn't worry yourself about that; ar'n't 
I in her service? And what's the matter with 
me ? She's a very much a la mtcd and [crosses to 
mirror at Right] correct in every particular. Mr. 
Mortimer, do you think you are as becoming to 
me as Mr. Sheridan's gentleman ? 

[Beckoning to hiihy he comes up and looks over her 
shoulder in the glass, 

Mortimer. [Putting his arm around her and 
leading her away from mirror,] Look here, 
Kathleen, no tricks; and what are you doing 
out at this time of day? 

Kathleen. [Walking to and fro with Morti- 
mer.] Why, Miss Mariana sent me over an 
hour back with this letter [holding up letter] for 
her young gentleman. They correspond through 
me; faith, I'm turned into a regular post-bag. 
But I'm afraid I've missed him this time. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 25 

Mortimer. [Laughingly,] You will have to 
miss him quite regularly when we begin to break 
it off between your young mistress and her lover, 
and supplant him with my gentleman. 

Beau. [Voice in distance from bedroom,] 
Mortimer ! Mortimer ! 

Mortimer. Yes, sir ! [Alarmed.] That's Mr. 
Brummell ! 

Kathleen. [Starts off Left,] Lord ! I'm off. 
[Pointing to dressing-table,] Oh, Morty ! Is that 
where he sits and does it? [Mortimer nods.] 
Couldn't I see him? " 

Mortimer. [With horror.] What! Before 
he's finished ? Gracious Heavens ! No ! 

Kathleen. [Crossing to door of ante-room.] 
Well, I am going. I'm loath to leave ye; 
goody-by — be faithful. 

[Throws kiss. 



26 BEAU BRUM M ELL 

[Exit Kathleen. Enter Beau from door into 
bedroom. He enters slowly as though it were 
too much trouble to come in. He is dressed 
in a yellow brocaded dressing-gown^ tied with 
a heavy yellow cord. It is long^ so that only 
kis patetit leather pumps with silver buckles 
show, with just a glimpse of brown arid yellow 
striped socks. He crosses at once to the dress- 
ing-table without paying any attention to 
Mortimer, who bows deferentially and says: 

Mortimer. Good morning, sir. 

Beau. Oh, go to the devil. 

Mortimer. [To himself.] Mr. Brummell is in 
a bad temper this morning. 

Beau. [Seating himself at dressing-table.] Mor- 
timer, is the sun shining? 

Mortimer. [Crossing to window — Right.] Oh, 
finely, sir. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 27 

[Simpson enters y bringing soda-water bottle and 
glass on a tray. 

Beau. [Simply looks at it and motions it away; 
eodt Simpson.] Any gossip, Mortimer? 

[Has taken up hand-glass ^ and then gently smooths 
his eyebrows. 

Mortimer. None of any account, sir. The 
Dowager Lady Slopington ran off yesterday with 
young Philip Pettibone. 

Beau. [Now manicuring his nails,] If it 
happened yesterday, it must be forgotten to-day. 

Mortimer. And Captain Badminton shot 
himself in the Park last night, sir, after losing 
ten thousand pounds at hazard. 

Beau. [Now takes tweezers and pulls out one or 
two hairs from his face,] Very stupid of him ; he 
should have shot himself first — is he dead, 
Mortimer? 



28 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Mortimer. No, sir. 

Beau. He always was a bad shot. You'll 
find some of his I. O. U.'s among my papers; 
return them to him cancelled, with my com- 
pliments. He can use them for plasters. And 
who has called? 

Mortimer. [Crosses to small table and looks over 
cards,] Oh, nobody, sir. To be sure there has 
been the usual crowd of people. The Honorable 
Mrs. Donner came for your subscription to the 
town charities, and I gave her all you could spare, 
sir. Mr. Cecil Serious, the poet, called for per- 
mission to inscribe your name under the dedica- 
tion of his new volume of verses. Lord Cowden 
came to know if your influence might still be 
used in the support of his party in the coming 
elections. 

Beau. [Still occupied with his toilet,] Yes, he 



BEAU BRUMMELL 29 

can use my influence. Well, you satisfied them 
. all, I presume. 

Mortimer. [At Left] I took that liberty, sir. 
Then there was a quantity of trades-people with 
their bills and accounts. I said you had been 
out all night with the Prince and really were 
not able to see them. 

Beau. Pray, Mortimer, be a little careful of 
my reputation in your lies. You know common 
people are apt to look upon dissipation^ 
differently from persons of fashion. 1 You may 
say what you like about the Prince, but handle 
me a little delicately. 

Mortimer. [BowSy then speaks after short pause.] 
Sprague, the tailor, called again, sir, with his 
account. 

Beau. [Much astonished.] Again ! What inso- 
lence ! Upon what previous occasion had he the 
presumption to call ? 



30 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Mortimer. A year ago last month, sir. 

Beau. [With real astonishment,] What damned 
impudence! Mortimer, you may let it be 
known at your club that he comes to me no 
longer. Send for that new tailor — what's his 
name — to wait upon me this afternoon. Bring 
this morning's letters. 

[Mortimer brings down table with a number oj 
little notes to Beau, who is still seated at 
dressing-table. 

Mortimer. [Holding up a bundle of bills,] 
These are bills, sir. All of them fresh this 
morning, and some of them more urgent than 
usual. 

Beau. [Not taking the trouble to look at them.] 
Hide them away somewhere, where I can't see 
them, and I shall feel as if they had been paid. 

Mortimer. [Pushing forward a bundle of notes.] 



BEAU BRUMMELL 31 

Your private correspondence, this little collection, 
sir. 

Beau. [Still seated, takes up notes, one at a time, 
and smells them,] Patchouli ! — phew ! — Frangi- 
pane ! — I believe that smells like peppermint. 
I don't know what that is, but it's very unpleasant. 
Violet! — musk! Take them all away — you 
may read them yourself. 

Mortimer. [Holding up a yellow lock of hair 
which he has taken from an envelope,] This 
letter has this little enclosure, sir. 

Beau. [In interested tone,] Money? 

Mortimer. Not exactly, sir, although a similar 
color. 

Beau. [Disappointedly — languidly] Whose 
is it? 

Mortimer. Lady Constance Conway's, and 
she says — 



32 BEAU BRVMMELL 

Beau. [Interrupts him,] Never mind what 
she says. I believe I did honor her with the 
request. Write and thank her, and quote some 
poetry. Say hers is the most precious lock I 
possess. Rather tender little woman, Lady 
Constance. [Sentimentally. 

Mortimer. [Pointedly,] Is she rich, sir? 

Beau. [Sighing.] No, she's not. 

Mortimer. [Opening another note,] Oh! A 
note from Mrs. St. Aubyn. She wants to know 
where you Ve been these two days. She says you 
are her lover's knot ; she's coming to see you at 
three this afternoon ; bids you be ready to receive 
her. She has, besides, down below in a postscript, 
a myriad of sentiments which she says belong to 
you, and she is herself, unalterably yours, Horatia. 

Beau. The one woman in London with whom 
it's possible to have a Platonic friendship. One 



BEAU BRUMMELL 33 

must have something nowadays, and these other 
liaisons are so excessively vulgar. 

Mortimer. [Very loud as he opens letter,] Mr. 
Brummell, sir. 

Beau. [Shocked.] Mortimer, how often have 
I told you never to startle me? 

Mortimer. [Bows an apology,] Mr. Brummell, 
sir, here's the memorandum of an I. O. U. for one 
thousand pounds, given by you to Lord Gainsby 
at White's three nights ago, for sums lost at 
hazard. 

Beau. [A little disturbed,] The deuce, Morti- 
mer. It must be paid to-day; that's a debt of 
honor. How can we obtain the money? 

Mortimer. I can try Abrahams again, sir, 
but he was very diflScult the last time. 

Beau. [Rings bell. Enter Simpson from ante- 
room. Without looking at him,] Simpson! 



34 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Simpson. Yes, sir. 

Beau. Gk) to Mr. Abrahams. Of course, you 
know where he lives. 

Simpson. Yes, sir. 

[Mortimer brings table back to place up at Right, 

Beau. Say Mr. Brummell requests his im- 
mediate attendance. 

Simpson. Very well, sir ! 

[Exit Simpson. 

Mortimer. [Coming down,] Mr. Brummell, 
sir, this can't go on much longer. 

Beau. No, I hope not. 

Mortimer. Everybody's pressing on you, and 
the only thing that keeps them off at all is your 
friendship with the Prince, and if anything should 
happen to that — 

Beau. [Quite unaffectedly,] Nothing could 
happen to that, Mortimer, and if anything did, I 



BEAU BRUMMELL 35 

should cut the Prince and make the old King the 
fashion. ' [Rises, 

Mortimer. I have been wondering, Mr. Brum- 
mell, if I might be so bold, if you had ever thought, 
sir, of the advisability of a rich marriage. 

Beau. Yes, it has occurred to me occasionally ; 
in fact, it has passed through my mind quite 
recently that it might be desirable. Only to de- 
cide on the person really seems too difficult a task 
for me to undertake. You would not have me 
marry a mere money-bag, would you, Mortimer ? 

Mortimer. [At left of table,] But the great 
Mr. Brummell has only to choose. 

Beau. [Staring at him in utter surprise that such 
a remark should he necessary,] Yes, of course! 
But one desires some sentiment. I wouldn't 
care to make a loan for life and give myself as 
security. 



36 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Mortimer. Mr. Bnimmell, sir, have you ever 
observed Miss Mariana Vincent? 

Beau. [Thoughtfully,] Yes, I have noticed her 
in the Mall, and I must confess it was to admire 
her ; her person is perfect. Is her matrimonial 
figure as good ? 

Mortimer. I believe it is sixty thousand 
pounds, sir. 

Beau. Oh, dear ! 

Mortimer. [Hastily.] But Mr. Vincent 
would be ashamed to offer so Uttle to the wife of 
Mr. Brummell. 

Beau. [Musingly.] Yes, it's a very paltry 
sum, and Mrs. St. Aubyn — 

Mortimer. [Insinuatingly.] If you could pre- 
sent her to the Prince, Mr. Brummell, don't you 
think a Platonic friendship might spring up there ? 

Beau. [^4^ though thinking aloud.] She is 



BEAU BRUMMELL 37 

ambitious, but she is clever and would never for- 
give a slight. She is a good hater, and if she 
thought she were being put upon one side, she 
would make a sly enemy. Well — we shall see. 
Mortimer, write a letter to Mr. Vincent — make 
my proposal for his daughter's hand. Be mindful 
of your language and careful to accomplish it in 
the most elegant manner, and request an im- 
mediate reply. 

Mortimer. Yes, sir. 

Simpson. [Enters at Left from ante-room,] Mr. 
Reginald Courtenay, sir. 

Beau. Yes, you may bid him come in here. 

[Reginald comes rushing in from ante-room. 
He is a handsome^ bright-faced lad of twenty, 
dressed simply j in great contrast to Beau's 
gorgeoi^s attire, 

Reginald. [Speaks very loud,] Ah! Mortimer. 



38 BEAU BRUMMELL 

[Crossing to Beau, after placing hat and cane on 
table, with hand extended,] Good morning, Uncle 
Beau! 

Beau. Reginald ! You are evidently laboring 
under the impression that I am a great distance 
ofiF. [Mortimer goes into bedroom, 

Reginald. [In a much lower tone,] I beg your 
pardon. Uncle Beau. [Bows,] Good morning. 

[Hand expended. 

Beau. No, I don't think I will shake hands; 
men shake hands much too often, especially in 
warm weather. A glance of the eye, Reginald — 
a glance of the eye ! Did it ever occur to you, 
Reginald, how thoughtful our Creator was, in 
giving us bodies, to give them to us naked, so that 
we could dress and ornament them as we choose ? 

Reginald. It had not occurred to me before, 
Uncle. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 39 

Beau. No, I suppose not. 

Reginald. I trust you are well this morning? 

Beau. No, I Ve contracted a cold — I suppose 
everybody will have a cold now. I left my 
carriage on the way to the Pavilion last night, 
and the wretch of a landlord put me into the 
same room with a damp stranger. 

Reginald. [Goes up, sits on settee at Right, with 
a change of tone and manner.] Uncle, I want 
your advice and help. 

Beau. [Goes to Reginald, and puts his hand 
on his shoulder and speaks with real affection,] 
All the advice I have is yours. Reginald, my 
boy, I trust you haven't gotten yourself into 
difficulties. You are the one creature in the 
world whom I love, and I think it would break my 
heart to see you in any trouble from which I could 
not free you. Your mother, my boy, was a 



40 BEAU BRUMMELL 

mother to me for years, and when I lost my sister 
I lost the best friend I ever had. She saw the 
heart that beat beneath the waistcoat. Moreover, 
she helped me always — in every way ; if it had 
not been for her, perhaps even now, I might be in 
some smoky office in the city — that undiscovered 
country from whose bourn no social traveler ever 
returns. [Crosses back to dressing-table,] What 
is it, Reginald? If you are in debt, I will give 
you a letter to Mr. Abrahams. If you are in the 
blue-devils, I will give you one to Mrs. St. Aubyn. 

Reginald. [Rises and comes down to Beau.] 
I am in neither. Uncle Beau ; I am in love. 

Beau. Dear me, that's worse than either. 
How do you know you are? 

Reginald. Why — well — I feel it here ! [/«- 
dicating heart,] I live only when she is present, 
and merely exist when away from her. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 41 

/ 

Beau. [Staring at him through his glass,] 
Reginald, don't talk like a family newspaper. 
Is your fair one possible ? 

Reginald. [Indignantly.] If you mean is she 
a gentlewoman, she is, and besides, young and 
beautiful — and — 

Beau. [At Right.] Of course, she would be. 
But does she return your passion? 

Reginald. She loves me. Uncle. 

Beau. Of course, she would — but — 

Reginald. Her father is opposed to me. He 
has forbidden our seeing each other ; our meetings 
have to be clandestine, and our mutual correspond- 
ence is carried on through her maid. He wishes 
a title for his daughter. He is rich and seeks 
only position in the world of society, while 
she, ah ! she cares nothing for it — only — 
for — me. 



42 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Beau. [Looking at him through glass,] Regi- 
nald, do you know I think you are more conceited 
than I am. 

Reginald. [At Center.] Oh, no! [Bowing,] 
Oh ! Uncle Beau, you, who are so high in favor at 
the Court, who have Dukes at your elbow and the 
Regent on your arm, might help me in a worldly 
way, that I might win over the father. I know 
that I am dear to you, as you are to me — and 
that is why I have come to you ! 

Beau. And you shall not have come in vain. 
[With enthusiasm.] By my manners ! You shall 
have the girl if I have to plead for you myself. 
But that will not be necessary. No, I will give 
you social distinction and prominence much more 
easily. Come for me in a little while, and I'll 
walk along the Mall with you to White's. Yes, 
and be seen with you at the Club window a few 



BEAU BRUMMELL 43 

moments. Now, my dear boy, can anybody 
possibly do anything more for you? 

[With absolute conviction, 

Reginald. [Pleased.] No, Uncle. [Turning 
to go,] Yes, Uncle — you can do one thing more 
for me. I Ve left my purse ; will you lend me a 
couple of crowns to take a chair with? IVe 
missed an appointment with the maid, and I wish 
to return to the Park in a hurry. 

Beau. Reginald, you know I never use silver, 
it's so excessively dirty and heavy. Ask Morti- 
mer for a couple of guineas as you go out. 
[Reginald starts to go.] By the way, Reginald, 
it is just possible that I may enter into the golden 
bands myself. I am thinking somewhat of a 
marriage with a certain young lady whose charms, 
strange to say, very much resemble those you 
would have described had I permitted you to 
inflict me. 



44 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Reginald. [Laughing,] You marry! Uncle! 
You ! Your wit makes me laugh in spite of my 
dolours. Imagine the great Beau Brunmiell 
married! Why, Uncle, your children would be 
little Rosettes. 

Beau. [Wincing.] Reginald, never be guilty 
of a pun ; it is excessively vulgar. I am serious. 
I think I may marry. 

Reginald. [Going to Beau and ofering hand 
quickly,] Then, Uncle, I am glad for you. 

Beau. [Starts^ looks at hand with eye-glass,] 
Dear me, what's that ? Oh, dear, no, Reginald — 
a glance of the eye. [Reginald drops hand,] 
A glance of the eye ! My boy, you look so like 
your mother — God bless you ! 

[Reginald goes to table at Left for hat and 
stick. 

Beau. You will return ? 



BEAU BRUMMELL 45 

Reginald. [Boisterously , crossing to door at 
Left,] Yes, shortly. 

Beau. [Again shocked at his loud tone,] 
Reginald ! 
[Reginald stops^ returns a step or two^ looks at 
Beau as if to say, " What is it ? '' Beau bows 
very politely. Reginald remembers he had 
forgotten himself for a minute, bows, places 
hat on his head, as he turns, and exits less 
boisterously. 
Simpson. [Enters from ante-room as Reginald 
exits.] Mr. Abrahams, sir. 

Beau. Yes, you can let him in here. 
Simpson. [Exits and returns, ushering in Abra- 
hams.] Mr. Abrahams, sir. 

Abrahams. [Enters with assurance.] I under- 
stand, Mr. Brummell, that you wished to see me. 
I had much diflSculty in leaving my place of busi- 
ness, but you see I am here. 



46 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Beau. [Glancing at him through his glass,] 
Ah — Abrahams — ah, yes ! So you are, so you 
are. 

Abrahams. [Insinuatingly,] I thought it was 
likely, sir, that you wished to make a few pay- 
ments. 

Beau. [Dryly,] I think that's wrong, Abra- 
hams ; do you know, I fear you will have to guess 
again. 

Abrahams. [With indignation,] Well now, 
really, Mr. Brummell, I hope you don't want to 
raise another loan. 

Beau. [Pleased that he has surmised it,] I 
beUeve that's right, Abrahams ; second thoughts 
seem to be always the best. 

Abrahams. [Very loudly,] Really, Mr. Brum- 
mell, sir, I'm sorry, sir, but the fact is I can't 
possibly — [Enter Simpson from ante-room. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 47 

Simpson. [Interrupting Abrahams.] A foot- 
man from His Royal Highness, the Prince Regent, 
sir. 

Beau. [Quite unconcernedly.] Yes, you can 
let him come in here. 

[Abrahams looks at Beau, and hacks up a trifle. 
Enter footman. Stands below door. 

Beau. [Without looking at him,] Mortimer, 
which one is it? 

Mortimer. [Who had come in from bedroom,] 
Bendon, sir. 

Beau. [At Right, Graciously,] Very well, 
Bendon. 

Footman. \With great respect,] Mr. Brum- 
mell, sir, His Royal Highness wishes to know if 
you will be at home this afternoon at four o'clock. 
If so, he will call upon you to make arrangements 
for the dance at Carlton House. 



48 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Beau. At what o'clock did you say, Ben- 
don? 

Bendon. \With low how.] At four o'clock, sir. 
Beau. S^,y to His Royal Highness to make it 
half-past four o'clock. 

[Exit footman at Left, followed by Simpson. 

Abrahams is overcome with wonder at this, 

and looks at Mortimer, who draws himself 

up proudly. 

Beau. [As if recollecting his presence,] You 

were saying, Mr. Abrahams, that you could not 

possibly — 

Abrahams. [Bowing, changing attitude and 
tone,] H'm, ach — hem — that I should be very 
glad — though I am just now rather pressed 
myself. How much did you say, sir? 
Beau. How much did I say, Mortimer? 

[Enter Reginald, same door. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 49 

Reginald. [Boisterously rushing to Beau, Left 
Centre,] Am I in good time, Uncle? 

Beau. [Startled,] Reginald, how often have 
I told you to enter a room properly. You came 
in like — like a — Mortimer, what did Mr. 
Reginald come like ? 

Mortimer. [Reproachfully,] Like a thunder- 
bolt, sir. 

Beau. Ah, yes — like a thunderbolt; very 
unpleasant things, thunderbolts. Mortimer, 
have I ever seen a thunderbolt? 

Mortimer. Once, sir. 

Beau. Yes ; I once saw a thunderbolt ; very 
unpleasant things, thunderbolts. You must not 
come in like a thunderbolt, Reginald. 

Reginald. [Looking at Abrahams.] I beg 
your pardon. Uncle Beau. Are you busy? 

Beau. [^4^ if startled,] I beg your pardon — 



so BEAU BRUMMELL 

Reginald. Are you busy? 

Beau. Busy! Ugh! Never employ that 
term with me. No gentleman is ever busy. 
Insects and city people are busy. This — ah — 
person has come to ask my assistance in some 
little financial matters, and I think IVe rather 
promised to oblige him. Mortimer, go with 
this — ah — ah — person. You go with my 
valet. [Abrahams hows and hows,] Yes, quite 
so, quite so. 

[Exit Mortimer and Abrahams into ante- 
room at Leftf Abrahams hacking, howing all 
the time, 

Reginald. [Gloomily sitting on sofa,] I was 
too late ; I missed her. 

Beau. Don't be gloomy, Reginald, or I shall 
not be able to walk with you. Nothing is more 
conspicuous than melancholy. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 51 

[Mortimer returns — coughs. 

Beau. Mortimer, are you coughing? 

Mortimer. [Apologetically,] Yes, sir. 

Beau. [At Right,] Well, I wish you wouldn't. 
You wish to speak with me? 

Mortimer. Yes, sir. [Beau crosses, bowing in 
apology as he passes Reginald.] Mr. Brummell, 
sir, everything is arranged satisfactorily, sir. 

Beau. Did you send for the new tailor, what's 
his name, to come this afternoon? 

Mortimer. Yes, sir. 

Beau. And have you written the letter to Mr. 
Vincent? 

Mortimer. Yes, sir, all ready to seal. 

Beau. Then seal it and despatch it at once. 
And now, Reginald, come with me and you shall 
see me having my coat put on. 

[Reginald rises. 



52 BEAU BRUMMELL 

[Exit Beau and Reginald into bedroom. Enter 
Kathleen from ante-room, 

Kathleen. La ! I must come in for a minute. 
I missed my young gentleman in the Park, and I 
ventured back to ask how we are to discover who 
he is. That's what we must do somehow, but 
how ? [Reginald enters from bedroom, 

Reginald. [Coming down,] Mr. BrummeU's 
snuff-box, Mortimer. 

[Reginald and Kathleen recognize each other, 

Reginald. Her maid ! 

Kathleen, [r^? Mortimer.] Oh, Lord! The 
very young gentleman himself. 

Mortimer. What! 

Reginald. [At Left, Suspiciously,] What are 
you doing here ? 

Kathleen. [At Centre,] Why, I missed you 
in the Park, sir — you were too early. [To 



BEAU BRUMMELL 53 

Mortimer.] Will you say something? But I 
saw you in advance of me. \To Mortimer.] 
• Give utterance to something ! And I followed 
you here to give you this letter. [Gives note to 
Reginald. To Mortimer.] I had to give it 
to him that time. 
Beau. [Outside, calling.] Reginald ! 
[Mortimer and Reginald rush Kathleen off 
through bay ivindow. Mortimer stands at 
window after drawing curtain, Reginald 
crosses to table at Left Centre^ and stands back 
of same. Enter Beau from bedroom. 
Beau. [At Centre door,] Mortimer, what was 
that extraordinary commotion? 

Mortimer. [At Right, at window , innocently.] 
What commotion, sir? 

Beau. [Standing in doorway.] Mortimer, 
don't be an echo ; how often have I told you that 



54 BEAU BRUMMELL 

servants are bom to answer questions, not to ask 
them? I belieVe you said the sun was shining? 

[Crosses to window, 

Reginald. [Very lotui, stopping him.] Uncle 

Beau, your snuff-box. [Offering box. 

Beau. [At Centre. Starts.] Ah! I knew I 

lacked something ; I perceived I had on my coat, 

my fob, my waistcoat, my unmentionables. 

Dear me, yes, it was my snuff-box — thank you, 

thank you. [He does not take snuff-box. 

[He is now fully dressed — long brown trousers, 

fitting very closely around the leg and buttoned 

around the ankle^ a yellow brocaded waistcoat^ 

brown coat, ruffled shirt with neckerchief, fob 

with many seals. He crosses to dressing-table 

and arranges flowers — three yellow roses — 

in his coat. Mortimer has crossed to table 

and stands holding hat, gloves and stick. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 55 

Reginald has the snuff-box. Beau turns 
from dressing-table y conies to the Centre, 
Reginald offers him the snuff-box open. 
Beau takes a pinch with courteous nod of head. 
Reginald takes pinch^ closes box, hands it to 
Beau, who holds it in hand. Mortimer then 
hands him gloves. Beau arranges them in hand 
very precisely. Mortimer then hands stick. 
Beau puts this in just right position. Morti- 
mer then hands hat. Beau takes it, is about 
to put it on, then looks at it, stands aghast, and 
hands it back with no word, bid just an expres- 
sion of complete astonishment. Mortimer, 
very puzzled, takes it and then sees that he has 
handed it with the wrong side to put on. Bows 
very low with an expression of great chagrin. 
Turns it and hands it to Beau. Beau takes 
itf walks to mirror, raises it two or three times 



$6 BEAU BRUMMELL 

until he has it at just the right angles then puts 
it on. Turns to Reginald. 
Beau. And now, Reginald, I'll make your 
fortune for you. I'll walk down the Mall with 
you to White's. 
[Walks to door, followed by Reginald, as 

THE CURTAIN FALLS 



THE FIRST ACT 
^ Scene Two 

The Beau's reception-room, A small room, fur- 
nished in chintz. Chippendale sofa at the Right. 
Large entrance at back with red striped chintz 
curtains. Palms in window. A table on the 
Left holds a standing memorandum tablet. Small 
arm-chair back of sofa. Two or three other chairs 
scattered around the room. A door at the Left. 
Beau Brummell at the rise of curtain is stand- 
ing by table, looking at the memorandum tablet 
through his eye-glass. He is dressed as in 
Scene One. Simpson draws the curtains at the 
back, and announces : 
Simpson. Mrs. St. Aubyn, sir! 
[Simpson then leaves the curtains drawn and goes 
otU. Beau turns and bows. 

57 



S8 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Beau. Punctual as the day, and twice as 
welcome. 

[Mrs. St. Aubyn has sailed into the room with 
an air that plainly says^ ^^You and I are to 
settle some important things to-day, ^^ She is 
a very handsome woman of about thirty^ 
beautifully dressed^ and showing in every look 
and motion the woman accustomed to homage 
and command. She carries a fan^ which she 
uses to emphasize all her remarks. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. You received my letter? 

Beau. [With another bow,] And your am- 
brosial lock of hair. 

[Mrs. St. Aubyn is at first offended^ and then 
laughs and sits on sofa, 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. Not mine, my dear Beau ; 
you know I'm not such a fool. 

[Beau is not at all taken aback by the mistake he 
has made. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 59 

Beau. Ah, no, I believe I am mistaken ; but, 
my dear Horatia, one gets things of this sort so 
mixed ; and I plead in extenuation that the wish 
was father to the thought. 

[Beau sits in chair near table, 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. Have you missed me really 
these last two days? Where have you been? 
It's been so dull withoift you, I vow, I could 
almost have married again. [Leans forward and 
speaks very confidentially,] Now, I want you to 
do me a favor, will you? 

Beau. Whisper it and it is done. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. Well, then, I will whisper. 
I want you to get me a card to the dance at 
Carlton House. 

Beau. The very privilege that I have looked 
forward to. I desire to present you myself to 
the Prince, and witness your triumph. An 



6o BEAU BRUMMELL 

unselfish pleasure, you would say, but I love you 
too well, my dear Horatia, not to sacrifice myself 
to your greatest opportunity. 

[During this speech^ Mrs. St. Aubyn has 
listened with a slight cynical smile y and now 
with an air of finality says: 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. I would not give up your 
devotion altogether — even for the Prince's. 

\With great empressement. 

Beau. Take both. Mine you will always have. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. Yet I think my devotion for 
you overbalances yours. 

Beau. My dear madam, you are too good. Do 
you know, I fear you will die young ? 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. [With an air of giving up 
this contest of wits.] Oh, the deuce take your 
fine phrases! If I thought I'd a rival, I'd let 
the Prince flit somewhere else. You're clever 



BEAU BRUMMELL 6i 

and the Prince isn't. He'll be very dull. Then 
he'll be harder to keep within bounds. Oh, 
[quickly as she sees an almost imperceptible shrug 
of Beau's shoulder] it isn't that I'm afraid for 
my reputation — that was damned long ago. But 
I've certain notions of self-respect which aren't 
in the fashion and which men don't seem to 
imderstand. 

Beau. [Very quietly,] Marry him ! 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. [With real astonishment.] 
What! 

Beau. [Taking out snuff-box and taking snuff.] 
Marry him. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. It is impossible ! 

Beau. With you all things are possible. 

[Mrs. St. Aubyn laughs nervously and steals a 
surreptitious look at herself in a little mirror 
in her fan. 



62 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. My dear Beau, I wish you'd 
make plain sense instead of pretty sentences. 
What advantages have I to recommend me? 

Beau. I will ask Mortimer to make out a list, 
but I may name one only — which is all-sufficient. 
For the past six weeks — I have admired you. 

[Mrs. St. Aubyn rises with a laugh. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. Oh, the conceit of the man ! 
But tell me what style of woman is the Prince 
caught by? 

[Beau rising also. 

Beau. To be perfectly frank with you, the 
Prince admires the fashion, and I — have made 
you the fashion. I am expecting him here this 
afternoon. 

[Mrs. St. Aubyn gives a shriek of dismay, 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. Who ? The Prince ! Gra- 
cious, why didn't you tell me? [Runs to che- 



BEAU BRUMMELL 63 

val-glass.] How am I looking? There, there, 

you needn't answer ; I know it is one of my bad 

days. 

[Beau is really very much upset by this rushing 

around and rapid talking. Speaks as though 

quite overcome. 

Beau. My dear Horatia, I beg of you not to 

rattle on so ; youVe no idea how you fatigue me. 

[Simpson enters at back and announces: 

Simpson. The Duchess of Leamington, Mr. 

Sheridan, sir! [Simpson goes out. 

[Mrs. St. Aubyn says to herself , as she comes 

down to chair at right of sofa : 
Mrs. St. Aubyn. Damme, that woman. 
[The Duchess and Mr. Sheridan enter at 
back. The Duchess is a very much painted 
and bewigged old young woman, dressed in a 
very light flowered gown, with a very large hat. 



64 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Sheridan is still handsome^ hut no longer 

youngy dressed in black silk knee-breeches, 

black coat and stockings; he wears the powdered 

wig instead of short hair like Beau's. The 

Duchess makes low curtsy to Beau, who 

bows. 

Beau. Ah, Duchess, what happy accident! 

Has your carriage broken down at my door, or 

do you come out of your own sweet charity? 

We were just speaking of you. I said you were 

the best-dressed woman in London, but Mrs. 

St. Aubyn did not seem to agree with me. [To 

Sheridan.] How do you do, Sherry? 

[Nods to Sheridan andy crossing to him, offers 

him snuff-box. Sheridan takes snuff. 
Duchess. [Js though noticing Mrs. St. Aubyn 
for the first time, says superciliously:] How d'ye 
do? 



BEAU BRUMMELL 6$ 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. [Haughtily.] Mr. Brummell 
pleases to be witty at my expense, Duchess. 
[Then to herself.] I must be on my guard. I 
don't understand Beau. 
[The Duchess seats herself on sofa. Mrs. St. 
Aubyn is sitting in chair just below sofa. 
Beau is sitting at chair near table, and Sheri- 
dan is still standing. 
Duchess. Mr. Sheridan and I thought we'd 
come to tell you the news. We knew you were 
never up till noon, and thought you might want 
to hear what's going on. 
[Sheridan now brings down chair from the 

back, and sits about Centre. 

Sheridan. And when we were nearly here we 

remembered that really there was nothing to tell. 

There seems to be a lamentable dearth of scandal 

and gossip nowadays. I don't know what we are 



66 BEAU BRUMMELL 

coming to. The ladies have absolutely nothing 
to talk about. 

^ Beau. Sherry, I hear the " School for Scandal " 
is to be revived. It returns to us every year like 
Spring and the influenza. 

Sheridan. [Regretfully.] Yes, but it won't 
be played as it used to be. 

Beau. [Thankfully.] No, I hope not. 

Duchess. Dear me, only think of Miss 
Motional playing Lady Teazle now, at her age ! 
Why is it that passi people are always so anxious 
to act? [With a little affected giggle.] I wonder 
you don't go on the stage, Mrs. St. Aubyn? 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. [With great sweetness.] I 
never experienced a scandal of sufficient eclat 
to warrant such a step. But you, Duchess, what 
a success you would have ! 

Duchess. Spiteful creature 1 



BEAU BRUMMELL 67 

Beau. How very severe — 

[Simpson enters at backf and announces: 
SmpsoN. His Royal Highness, the Prince 
Regent, sir. 
[Simpson exits. The Prince enters; does not 
remove his hat. All rise. Duchess and 
Mrs. St. Aubyn curtsy. Sheridan bows 
very low and Beau bows rather condescendingly. 
Prince. Ah, Beau, good morning. 
Beau. This is very good of you, sir. The 
Duchess, I am sure, is a welcome vision. Sherry 
you know, and you have heard — surely you have 
heard of the fascinating Mrs. St. Aubyn. 
Prince. But never have seen half enough. 
Beau. Where will you put yourself, sir? 
Prince. [Very emphatically says as he crosses 
to sofa:] Damme, here. 

[He sits on sofa and makes a motion with his 



68 BEAU BRUM M ELL 

handy inviting Mrs. St. Aubyn to sit beside 
him. To do this, Mrs. St. Aubyn has to 
cross in front of the Duchess, which she does 
with a look of triumph, while the Duchess, 
in moving to Mrs. St. Aubyn's vacated secU, 
turns up her nose as much as to say, "That 
wonH last long. " And Beau, having witnessed 
all this little byplay, has a little smile as he sees 
all is just as he wants it. 
Mrs. St. Aubyn. I believe, sir, Mr. Sheridan 
is thinking of a new play. 

Prince. Don't you put me in. Sherry, or, if 
you do, mind you make me thin. A fat man 
played me in the pantomime t'other night, and 
damme, I had him locked up. 

Sheridan. [With great deference.] 'Twas a 
libel, sir, a gross libel. 
Prince. I heard. Beau, from my tailor, this 



BEAU BRUMMELL 69 

morning, that you had gotten up something new 
in trousers. Why the deuce haven't you told me ? 

Duchess. \With affected girlishness,] Oh, dear 
me, what are the new trousers? 

Sheridan. [Maliciously.] Why, Duchess, I 
don't see how they can possibly interest you. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. Mr. Sheridan, Mr. Sheridan, 
both your plays and your conversation ought 
to be expurgated. 

Duchess. Come, come, stop all this banter, 
and Mr. Brummell will tell us. 

Beau. [As though bored by all this chatter,] 
You must excuse me, Duchess ; I have contracted 
a cold. 

Prince. I'll tell you. Duchess; they're long 
trousers which are slit so [pointing with his cane 
to Ms own le^ at the bottom, and then buttoned 
tight. Very odd, you see, and striking. 



70 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Duchess. It might be too striking; don't 
you think it' depends on the — eh — eh — 
circumstances? 

[She draws her skirt up very slightly, and strikes 
her leg with her Jan. 

Prince. Damme, Duchess, you're right; and 
that's just what I want to know of Beau here, 
whether he thinks my legs could stand 'em. 

Beau. Really, my dear fellow, I'm no judge 
of calves. [All laugh, 

Sheridan. You must appeal to the ladies, sir. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. [Feigning to hide her jace 
with her fan,] No, no ; I object ! 

Beau. Mrs. St. Aubyn means they are little 
trifles not worth mentioning. 

Prince. Now, I object. Besides, I've some- 
thing else to talk about. What think you, Beau, 
of Tuesdav week for the dance at Carlton House ? 



BEAU BRUMMELL 71 

[Beau rises very slowly ^ takes tablet, looks it over. 
Beau. Tuesday, Tuesday — yes, I think I 
might make Tuesday do. 

[Prince rises, and everybody rises. 
Prince. [To Mrs. St. Aubyn.] You will not 
forget, then, siren, the opening quadrille with me. 
May I take you to your chair? 

[Mrs. St. Aubyn makes him a low curtsy, 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. You make me wish my 

chair was at my own door, instead of at Mr. 

Brummeirs. 

Beau. That's very good, very good. 

[Mrs. St. Aubyn curtsies with a look of triumph 

to the Duchess. The Prince holds out his 

hand. She places her hand lightly on his, 

curtsies low to Beau, and retires up to the 

Centre door, while the Prince is making his 

adieus, which he does by simply nodding 



72 BEAU BRUMMELL 

to the Duchess and Sheridan, most gra- 
ciously nodding to Beau; and then he takes 
Mrs. St. Aubyn's hand again and they go of 
chattering. 
Duchess. \Who has witnessed this with ill- 
concealed envy,] Now, Mr. Brummell, promise 
me you'll bow to me at the play to-night. You 
bowed to Lady Farthingale last week Thursday, 
and she has given herself airs ever since. 

Beau. After the play. Duchess, after the 
play. If I looked at you once during the play, 
I could never bend my attention again. to the 
players. 

Duchess. \With a girlish giggle,] And that, 
Mr. Brummell, would damn the play. 

Beau. Yes, I shouldn't wonder if it did. It 
wouldn't be the first play I've damned. 
[Duchess curtsies, Sheridan bows, and they go 



BEAU BRUMMELL 73 

of at Centre door. Beau takes up memorandum 
tablet and goes toward door, Left, reading as he goes,] 
Let me see — Thursday, lunch with Lord and Lady 
Pleasant, then on to Mrs. Hearsays — pour passer 
le temps. Dinner with the Dowager Countess of 
Alimony, dance at Gordon House, then to the 
Rag, then to the Raleigh, then to Vauxhall. 

[Beau goes out. 
[Simpson enters at Centre door, showing in Mr. 
Vincent. Vincent is a stout, red-faced man, 
bluff manner, dressed rather loudly, with 
brown bob-wig, and he drops his Vs. 
Simpson. Whom shall I say, sir? 
Vincent. Never mind introducing me. I'll 
introduce myself — tell him a gentleman wishes 
to see him in answer to his message ; he'll under- 
stand. 
Simpson. Yes, sir. 



74 BEAU BRUMMELL 

[Simpson goes out at Left door with a look oj 
disdain at Vincent. 

Vincent. \Who is in a state of great excitement,] 
Well, am I really in the great Mr. Brummeirs 
house ? I thought I'd show my appreciation of the 
honor I feel in Mr. Brummell's suit for my daugh- 
ter's 'and by answering his message in person. 
But, really, now I'm 'ere, I'm not sure I've done the 
right thing. It's perfectly absurd, ridiculous, but 
I'm slightly nervous. I, the most successful cloth 
merchant of the day — unreasonable ! I must ap- 
pear at my ease or I shall fail to make an impres- 
sion. Let me see, what shall I say when he comes 
in ? After greeting him cordially, but with dignity, 
which is due to my position, I'll tell him in the 
proper language, with a few figures of speech to 
show I'm a man of some learning — he's coming. 

[Shows great nervousness. Begins to how very 



BEAU BRUMMELL 75 

low, moving first on one foot, then on the other, 
rubbing his hands together. 
Beau. [Enters from Left door; tablet in hand; 
as he comes on he says :] Sunday — Sunday ! — 
Vincent. He's coming, he's coming. 
Beau. Sunday after service, lunch with Lady 
Sybilla — Sybilla! She is ^^un tant soit peu 
passi,^^ but there was a time, there was a time, 
when poor Sybilla and I — 

[Vincbnt's bowings and movements now attract 

Beau's attention, and he looks at him through 

eye-glass. 

Beau. [To himself] Ah, yes, the new tailor. 

[Aloud,] I will speak with you presently. I am 

somewhat occupied just now. [Resumes soliloquy,] 

Dinner with Figgles — silly beast, Figgles, but 

delicious truffles. 

[Vincent has still continued to bow. 



76 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Beau. [Looks at him again,] Would you be so 
kind as not to wobble about in that way? 

[Vincent stops a moment. 

Beau. Thank you. [Resumes soliloquy,] Then 
on to Lady Ancient's — very tedious, but I must 
go or the poor woman's rooms would be quite 
vacant. 

[Vincent has again resumed his bowing and 
clasping and unclasping his hands. 

Beau. [Looks at him,] Did you heat what I 
observed? Would you be kind enough not to 
wobble about in that way, and please do not 
wash your hands incessantly with imaginary soap, 
or chassez about in that manner? You have no 
idea how you distress me. [Vincent never stops, 
growing more and more nervous,] How very 
extraordinary; he does not seem to be able to 
stop. Perhaps he is suffering with St. Vitus's 



BEAU BRUMMELL 77 

dance. I shall never be able to employ a person 
so afficted. Well, I won't dismiss him at once. 
I'll turn my back on him so I can't see him. 
[Beau turns his hack to Vincent.] Let me see, 
where was I — ah — yes, Lady Ancient's very 
tedious, but I must go or the poor woman's rooms 
will be quite empty ; then on to the club. 

Vincent, [Very deprecatingly.] But, sir — 

Beau. I'll speak with you presently. I am 
somewhat occupied just now, and, alth,ough my 
back is turned, I can feel you are wobbling about. 
[To himself,] I think I might venture to play 
again with my present prospects, Monday — 
Monday — 

Vincent. [Who is now getting restive, and realizes 
he is being treated badly.] But ! — 

Beau. Please do not say " but " again. 

Vincent. My lord ! — 



78 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Beau. Nothing so commonplace. 

Vincent. Sir — 

Beau. Very well, I suppose I had better speak 
with him — the sooner it is over the better. 
YouVe come to see me about my suit, I suppose. 

Vincent. Yes, the honor it confers upon my 
daughter and myself — 

Beau. It's affected his head. Does your 
daughter sew, also? 

Vincent. [Surprised,] Oh, beautifully, Mr. 
Brummell, but — 

Beau. I must ask you to omit your "buts." 
Now, if you will stand perfectly still for a few 
moments, I will endeavor to ask you one or two 
questions ; but you must try to stand still, and if 
you try very hard, you may succeed. But do 
try — there's a good man — try, try, try again. 
[Aside,] I'm so sorry for him. He must suffer 



BEAU BRUMMELL 79 

so. Well, I won't look at him. [Turns away and 
sits down at table. During all this time Vincent 
has been bowing, trying to stand stilly but not succeed- 
ing, owing to his great embarrassment,] Now, 
have you any new cloths? 

Vincent. My dear sir, I was not aware that 
you were at all interested in cloths. 

[Looks around for a chair, and goes up to back of 
room to get one. 

Beau. He's violent — he's going to attack 
me. 

Vincent. [Bringing down the chair near to 
Beau.] Yes, there are some very fine new cloths. 
Now, if you'll allow me — 

Beau. Certainly not, sir; certainly not. 
[Aside.] Poor man, I suppose he never waited 
upon any one before. 

Vincent. [Can now stand it no longer, and 



8o BEAU BRUMMELL 

rises,] This is too much. Tis outrageous. I'll 
not stand it, sir. I am a gentleman, sir. 

Beau. Then why don't you behave like one? 

Vincent. I've come here — 

Beau. Of course, you've come here, that's 
very evident. You've come in answer to my 
message, haven't you? 

Vincent. Yes, sir, I've come in answer to your 
message asking for my daughter's 'and — 

Beau. Your daughter's what? 

Vincent. My daughter's 'and — 

Beau. Your daughter's hand? [It begins to 
dawn upon him,] I beg your pardon. 

Vincent. I came to accept your offer of mar- 
riage, but I've altered my intention. 

Beau. Dear me, you are — 

Vincent. Mr. Holiver Vincent, sir. 

Beau. [Aside.] And I thought he was the 



BEAU BRUMMELL 8i 

tailor ! [Alotul,] A thousand apologies ; won't 
you be seated? I was very much preoccupied. 
I ask you a thousand pardons — but [Vincent 
has begun to bow and wobble again] what can you 
expect if you will wobble about in that manner, 
my dear Sir Oliver ! 

[Vincent, indignant, again is soothed by title, 

Vincent. Not Sir Holiver yet. Mr. Holiver 
— Mr. Holiver Vincent, at your service. 

Beau. I only regret that you did not say so 
before. • [Simpson enters. 

Simpson. Sir, the Duke of York sends word, 
will you be so gracious as to take mutton with 
him to-night? 

[Beau looks at Vincent, who looks pleadingly 
at him, as much as to say, ^^Dine with 



we." 



Beau. Send my polite regrets to his Royal 



82 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Highness and say, I dine to-night with Mr. 

Oliver Vincent. 
[Simpson exits at Centre door. Beau ojffers his 
snuff-box to Vincent, who takes a pinch and 
snuffs it with a loud, disagreeable noise, which 
shocks Beau unspeakably. 

THE CURTAIN FALLS 



THE SECOND ACT 

The ballroom at Carlton House, a large, stately 
room hung in yellow damask — yellow damask 
furniture. On the Right, a door leading into 
reception room. On the Left are three curtained 
recesses. At the back a large doorway extends 
the whole width of room; it is curtained with 
yellow brocade curtains, which are looped 
back, showing a long hall hung with mirrors; 
it leads to supper room. 

On the stage, at rise of curtain, is the Prince, 
standing near the Centre, talking to Mrs. St. 
AuBYN. The Prince is dressed in black, with 
the blue ribbon of the Garter; Mrs. St. Aubyn in 
elaborate evening dress. Sheridan, the Duchess 
OF Leamington, Lady Farthingale, Lord 
Manly and other guests are standing at back. 

83 



84 BEAU BRUM M ELL 

Prince. [A little impatiently, as though he had 
been welcoming guests until tired.] Any one else, 
damme; I'm ready to dance. 

{Servant enters from the door on the Right. 

Servant. Mr. Brummell, Mr. Oliver Vincent, 

Miss Vincent. 

[Servant steps to one side of door as Mr. 

Brummell comes in with Mariana, her hand 

resting lightly on his. The Duchess then steps 

forward and takes Mariana's hand. Mr. 

Brummell steps back to the side of Vincent, 

who has followed them on. The Duchess leads 

Mariana to the Prince. While this is going 

on, Mrs. St. Aubyn, who has stared in amaze- 

ment, says : 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. What's this presentation for ; 

does it mean money for the Duchess? She doej 

not need it. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 85 

Duchess. [As she presents Mariana.] Your 
Royal Highness — Miss Vincent. 

[Both curtsy to the Prince. 
Prince. This places me deeper than ever in 
Mr. Brummeirs debt. 
[The Duchess and Mariana back away and 
retire to the back of room, where they are joined 
by Sheridan. Beau now advances to the 
Prince, closely followed by Vincent, who is 
greatly excited. 
Beau. Sir, I have the honor to present my 
friend, Mr. Oliver Vincent. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. [Aside,] It's Mr. Brummell 
who is at the bottom of this. I think I begin to 

dec 

Prince. Mr. Vincent? Is this the Mr. Vin- 
cent, of the city? For, egad, sir, I am pleased — 
Vincent. [Greatly embarrassed.] Your High- 



86 BEAU BRUMMELL % 

ness, sir, the honor is all mine, ah, all mine, Your 

Ik 

Highness, thank you for your cordiality, Ypur 
Highness. 

[Offers the Prince his hand. Beau quietly 

throws it up, and motions Vincent away to 

the hack, covering his retreat, as it were, by his 

own self-possession and the look of humorous 

appeal which he gives to the Prince. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. Your Royal Highness, what 

does Beau mean? Really, sir, I think you take 

too much from him. They are from the city, 

these Vincents ; you can see its dust on their feet. 

Prince. [Chuckling at his own wit.] Yes, 

damme, madam ; but it's gold dust. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. [With a slight smile, such as 
an offended goddess might give,] Pray, sir, let 
us have the dance now. 
[The Prince offers her his hand and they take 



BEAU BRUMMELL 87 

^ their places at the head of the set, Sheridan 
leads the Duchess to one side. Lord Manly 
leads Lady Farthingale to the other. 
Beau. [To Mariana.] May I have the de- 
light of leading you out in the dance ? 

Mariana. I fear, Mr. Brummell, you will find 
me but a poor dancer. 

Beau. I know you dance well, or I should not 
have asked you. I have watched you. One 
must always judge for oneself. 

[He leads Mariana to the head, opposite tJie 
Prince. They dance an old-fashioned quad- 
rille, the end of which is a deep curtsy from 
the ladies and a how from the men. The 
Prince then goes up to Centre door, and out 
through the hall with Mrs. St. Aubyn. 
Prince. Egad! Poor Beau! Your charms 
have made me false to my friend. 



88 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. Ah! But I fear Your Royal 
Highness is fickle, and may be false to me, too. 

Prince. Zounds ! I could only be that by being 
false to myself. 
{They are now out of sight. The Duchess has 
joined Beau and Mariana, Lady Farthin- 
gale and Lord Manly. The latter cou- 
ple now curtsy, and how and eocit through 
Centre door, and go down the hall. 
Duchess. I really think it gives one more 
iclat to dance with Mr. Brummell than to dance 
with the Prince. 
Beau. [Quite sincerely,] I really think it does. 
[The Duchess and Mr. Sheridan then bow, 
and also go out at Centre door, meeting Vin- 
cent, who bows to them in a most exaggerated 
way and then comes down toward the Beau 
and Mariana. Beau bows in courtly fashion 



BEAU BRUMMELL 89 

and also goes out through Centre door, so 

Vincent and Mariana are left alone. 

Mariana is a charming type of a young 

English girl, dressed in white, her hair in soft 

ringlets, with a wreath of tiny rosebuds, 

Vincent. This is the proudest moment of my 

hf e ! He had heard of me ; he recognized me at 

once, Mariana. 

Mariana. [Quizzically,] Of course, papa, he 
had read your name on his buttons. 

Vincent. You are mistaken, my dear; I 
am not a tailor, I am a cloth merchant. Did 
you notice how cordial His Royal Highness was? 
[Regretfully,] I was too stiff with him, much too 
stiff, but Mr. Brummell would have it so. 

Mariana^ [Still trying to make a jest of it,] 
Quite right, papa ; you needed your dignity and 
His Royal Highness did not. 



go BEAU BRUMMELL 

Vincent. Think, Mariana, what a difference to- 
day from yesterday. Yesterday, I was Vincent, 
of the City — to-night, I am Vincent, of the 
Court. It is a proud position, my dear; think 
of it, Holiver Vincent, the Prince's friend ! No 
more "The Hoak, the Hash, and the Bonny 
Hivy Tree." No more "A Weary Lot Is Thine, 
Fair Maid." [Imitates the playing of a piano.] 
No more going to sleep after dinner. No, my 
dear, we'll read our names every morning, sev- 
eral times over, in the Court Journal. It'll 
be a staggerer for your Aunt Jane at 'Ounds- 
ditch. 

Mariana. [Sadly.] I think, for my part, we 
are very well as we are, and very happy. And I 
like the old songs, and I like my old. father just 
as he is. 

Vincent. Pooh ! My child, I am ambitious, 



BEAU BRUMMELL 91 

and, if you marry the Beau, in a year from now, I 
may wear a coronet — a coronet. 

[Makes a gesture as though placing a coronet 
on his head, 

Mariana. Uneasy lies the head that wears a 
crown, papa, and how much are you going to 
give for the coronet? Anybody can buy one 
nowadays. Give your money for it, by all means 
— but not your daughter's happiness. 

[Crossing and going up toward Centre as though 
to end the discussion. 

Vincent. [Follows her and speaks pleadingly,] 
Mariana, I have been a kind father to you. My 
heart is set upon the accomplishment of this thing. 
You have ever been a dutiful child. 

Mariana. [Turning quickly,] And you shall 
ever find me so. But I hold, papa, that a wom- 
an's heart alone should guide a woman's choice. 



92 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Vincent. [Turns away vexed,] Yes, I know — 
but — 

Mariana. Still, my affection for you shall 
largely influence my decision. Go, my ambitious 
father. [Goes to him and puts her hand on his 
shoulders,] I will see what I can do to win the 
coronet for your head. 

Vincent. [Delightedly kisses her forehead,] 
That's a good child. 

[He goes up and out through Centre door. 

Mariana. If I can only tear the arrow from 
my heart. [Walks slowly up *and down,] No 
dream of greatness, no wish even of my father's, 
should for one instant weaken my devotion to 
Reginald if I could believe him true to me. But 
he has ceased to write; I hear of him only in 
social dissipation. He is gay and merry, and 
Mariana is forgotten. Since I cannot be happy, 





BEAU BRUMMELL 93 

there is only my dear old father to be pleased. 
And yet — and yet — 

[Starts and turns as Beau, the Duchess and 
Mr. Vincent enter from the Centre door. 

Duchess. [As she conies gaily down.] Ma 
mie, you are very fortunate, I vow — you will 
be the talk of the town to-morrow — to have 
pirouetted with our Beau here. Tis no small 
favor, I assure you — and one his Beauship has 
never yet bestowed upon Ms doting Duchess — 
you naughty, naughty Beau 1 [Shakes her fan at 
Beau.] And I must say, ma mie, you comported 
yourself right well, right limber and nimbly for a 
debutante. Though I am no bad executante on 
the tips of my toes myself, i' faith. 

[Gives a little pas seul. 

Beau. [Putting up glasses and looking at her 
critically.] Ah, Duchess, all you need is a ballet 



94 BEAU BRUMMELL 

skirt and a tambourine. But, egad, we forgot 
the Prince — the Merchant Prince — we have 
just left the title ! Permit me, my dear Duchess, 
to present to you the money. Mr. Oliver Vincent 
— Her Grace, the Duchess of Leamington. 

Duchess. [A^she curtsies to Vincent, who hows 
very low,] Deuce take me, Mr. Brummell, have you 
ever known me to refuse a presentation to money? 

Beau. No, my dear Duchess, and I have 
known you to become very familiar with it at 
the card-table without even a formal introduction. 

Duchess. Beau, I vow you're a brute. 

[She crosses to Vincent and they go up a little. 

Beau. [Crossing to Mariana.] You hear that, 
Mariana. I am a brute, 'tis true, and I am look- 
ing forward to a conjunction of Beauty and the 
Beast. [Turning to the Duchess.] Duchess, 
shall Sir Money conduct you to the card-room ? 



BEAU BRUMMELL 95 

Duchess. [Smiling at Vincent.] With pleas- 
ure, if he'll stay there with me. 

Beau. No fear of that, for your Grace is sure 
to put him in your pocket. 

Duchess. Incorrigible! Come, Mr. Vincent, 

your arm, your arm ; 'fore Gad, we are routed. 

[Takes Vincent's arm; they turn to go. 

Beau. [Stopping them.] One moment, my 
dear Vincent. [Beau bows to Duchess, who joins 
Mariana, and they stand talking, while Beau 
speaks to Vincent.] My valet has neglected 
placing my purse in my pocket, and I am going 
to allow you the privilege of lending me five hun- 
dred guineas before you run away with the 
Duchess. 

Vincent. [Heartily.] Certainly, my dear Mr. 
Brummell, certainly, sir, take ten — 

[Puts his hand in his pocket. 



96 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Beau. \With a look of horror.] Not here, my 
good sir, not here — in the card-room. 

Vincent. [Going up to the Duchess.] My 
arm, madam, my purse and myself are entirely 
at your service. 

Duchess. [Taking his arm,] I only need one 
of them; but come, come, I see you are quite 
a courtier. Au revoir^ Beau. [To Mariana, as 
she waves a kiss,] Ma chhre ! 

[Curtsies to the Beau, waves her hand airily to 
Mariana, and goes of with Vincent. 

Beau. Your most humble and devoted slave. 
Duchess. 

Mariana. You do not follow the cards, Mr. 
Brummell ? 

Beau. They are too fickle ; I am always un- 
lucky. 

Mariana. Unlucky at cards, lucky in love — 



BEAU BRUMMELL 97 

[Stops abruptly y vexed that she has mentioned the 
word " loveJ^ 

Beau. That is why I am here. 

Mariana. [^4 little coquettishly.] Well, what 
sort of a hand shall I deal you ? 

Beau. [With great meaning.] Yours ! 

Mariana. [With equal meaning,] Are dia- 
monds trumps ? 

Beau. [Reproachfully,] No. Hearts! 

Mariana. [Lightly,] I haven't one in tl^e 
pack. 

Beau. Nay, but you deal your cards badly. 

Mariana. That is because I have chosen 
Nature, not Art, to be my mistress. 

Beaui By my manners ! I've a mind to bring 
Dame Nature into fashion again. 

Mariana. Then there's not a woman here 
could show her face. 



98 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Beau. But you. And if you would deign to 
be seen always on my arm — 

Mariana. Mercy ! Mr. Brummell, I fear you 
would wear me as you do your coat, and throw 
me aside when I'm wrinkled. 

Beau. [With a shudder,] Don't mention 
wrinkles ; they give me the jaundice. 

Mariana. [Seriously,] I cannot but remember 
that only one short week ago every bench in the 
^all, every lady's tea-table, every entr^acte of the 
play was the occasion for reportings of Mr. Brum- 
mell's fancy for the Honorable Mrs. St. Aubyn. 

Beau. You cannot imagine I have not favored 
some woman more than others. Mrs. St. Aubyn 
was clever and amused me. We passed our time 
in laughter, not in loving. 

[Mrs. St. Aubyn, who has entered at back, 
hears this last remark. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 99 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. I fear I am malapropos, but 
I will be deaf and blind. 

[She comes down the Centre, while Vincent, 

Sheridan, Lady Farthingale and the 

Duchess enter also at Centre door, 

Mariana. It would be a pity, madam, to 

destroy two faculties which serve you to such 

good purpose. 

[Crosses and passes Mrs. St. Aubyn with a 

slight bend of her head, and joins Vincent. 
Beau. Oh, that's very good. [To Mrs. St. 
Aubyn, as he crosses to her,] Don't you think 
that's very good ? 
[They stand together, apparently talking, Mrs. 

St. Aubyn very angrily. 
Vincent. [To Mariana.] A most bewitching 
woman that, but I'm sorry she would insist upon 
hunting Mr. Brummell, for I knew you wouldn't 



* 



' ti 



♦ • • • 
• • • 

* 



loo BEAU BRUMMELL 

want to be interrupted. I did all I could with 
politeness. I took her to every other room before 
this. 

[Mariana and Vincent go out at Centre door, 
as Lord Manly comes rushing on, almost 
running into them. 

Lord Manly. [He is a fop of the period, and 
quite a little the worse for drink,] My dear Beau ! 
My dear Beau ! [A little louder. Beau pays 
no attention to him,] My dear Beau ! ! [Still 
louder. Be av finally looks at him,] Lord Crawl- 
ings is cheating at the card-table. It is a 
fact ! He has cards up his sleeve. What shall 
I do? 

Beau. Cheating at the card- table? 

Lord Manly. Yes ; he has cards up his sleeve. 

Beau. [Thoughtfully,] Cards up his sleeve! 

Lord Manly. Yes. What shall I do? 



BEAU BRUMMELL loi 

Beau. Well, if he has cards up his sleeve, bet 
on him. 

Lord Manly. \With a blank stare.] Oh — 
thank you. 

[He joins Lady Farthingale and offers her a 
chair y which she refusings they stand conversing 
with other guests. 

Lady Farthingale. If Mr. Brummell marries 
Miss Vincent, he'll have no more difficulty in 
paying for his clothes, though I hear he's sadly 
in debt now. 

Sheridan. Poor Beau ! He will never be able 
to forget the old gentleman's cloth; it will be 
like riding to wealth on a clothes-horse. 

Duchess. \Who has been looking down the hall.] 
Lord, Mr. Sheridan ! They are starting for sup- 
per. You can do as you please, but I want an 
oyster. 



I02 BEAU BRUMMELL 

[Sheridan and Duchess go of at Centre door, 
followed by Lady Farthingale, Lord Manl\ 
and other guests. 
Mrs. St. Aubyn. [To Beau, who was starting 
to go,] I insist upon a few words with you. 
Beau. Your wishes are my commands. 
[He is now standing in the door, Centre, so he 
can look down the hall, Mrs. St. Aubyn is 
walking angrily hack and forth, 
Mrs. St. Aubyn. I found myself quite de trop 
when I entered the room a few minutes ago. 
Beau. You speak of impossibilities. 
Mrs. St. Aubyn. Pray, spare me; I over- 
heard your last speech. 
Beau. You mean you listened to what I said. 
Mrs. St. Aubyn. Well, if I did -r- 1 begin tc 
see through you now. 
Beau. Happy me ' 



BEAU BRUMMELL 103 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. Did you think me blind 
when you presented these Vincents to the Prince ? 

Beau. [Bowing to some imaginary gussts down 
the hall.] How do you do? Who could think 
those eyes bUnd ? 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. You presented me to the 
Prince, not for my own sake, but for yours. 
Twas a pleasant way to be rid of me. 

Beau. No way with such a destination could 
possibly be pleasant. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. You have puffed the Prince 
with the conceit that he is driving you out of my 
affections^ against your will. Suppose he were 
to know the truth ? 

Beau. Royal personages are so rarely told the 
truth that if he did hear it he would not recognize 
it. How do you do ! 

[Again bowing to some imaginary person. 



I04 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. What would become of his 
friendship for you, do you think, and what would 
you do without it? 

Beau. He would have my sincere S5anpathy. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. Suppose I were to inform 
him? 

Beau. [Again bowing,] How do you do, my 
dear Lady Betty; how do you do? Yes, pres- 
ently — with great pleasure — h'm. [Turning 
and apparently paying attention to Mrs. St. 
Aubyn for the first time,] My dear Horatia 
would not be so foolish as to ruin herself. Would 
the Prince, do you think, still care for you if he 
thought I no longer admired you? He afifects 
you now for the same reason he wears my coats, 
because I have made you as I made them — the 
Fashion. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. [Triumphantly,] But there's 



BEAU BRUMMELL 105 

sometliing that binds one faster to a man than the 
button of a coat. There is, my dear Beau, such 
a thing as marriage. 

Beau. Oh, yes, to be sure ! There, my dear 
madam, I bow to your vast experience [Mrs. 
St. Aubyn makes an impatient movement], but, 
when it comes to a question of the Prince's wed- 
ding coat, I fear you will find the buttons are sewed 
on with a very lig^ 1 thread. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. There you are wrong. You 
seem to forget, my dear Beau, that the Prince 
already dotes on me. We are both playing a 
little game — you and I — but I am 'persuaded 
I shall win, for I stake on a heart. 

[Sweeps past Beau with a superb gesture, toward 
the Left. 

Beau. [Very quietly,] Your fortune will turn, 
for you stake on a knave. 



io6 ' BEAU BRUMMELL 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. What will take my knave 
when the king is out of the pack ? 

Beau. Why, then, I think a queen might 
turn up. 

[Before Mrs. St. Aubyn can crush him with 
the reply that is on her lips^ Vincent enters, 

Vincent. Ah, 'ere you are, my dear Mr. 
Brummell ; you are losing your supper, and Mrs. 
St. Aub)^, too, is depriving the feast of its most 
brilUanthornament. 

Beau. Yes, truly, it is too selfish of Mrs. St. 
Aubyn. Mr. Vincent, Mrs. St. Aubyn must 
permit you to conduct her to the supper- 
room. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. [Sarcastically,] Surely, Mr. 
Vincent did not do me the honor of leaving the 
table to search me out. 

Vincent. 'Fore Gad, madam, though I did see 



BEAU BRUMMELL 107 

a vacant seat next His Royal Highness, in truth 
I came to look for my daughter. 

Beau. Mrs. St. Aubyn will hardly permit the 
chair which awaits her next to the Prince to re- 
main vacant. [Takes Mrs. St. Aubyn's hand and 
hands her with great empressement to Vincent.] 
Meanwhile, Mr. Vincent, I will go through the 
rooms for your daughter. 

[Mrs. St. Aubyn stops^ gives Beau a look, is 
about to make a scene, then thinks better of it, 
and lets Vincent lead her from the room. 

Beau. You amused me once, but you do so no 
longer. No, you're clever; yes, you are clever, 
and you dress to perfection, but Mariana has 
all your charms and more — a heart ! Horatia 
St. Aub)m, your day in the world is waning; 
Mariana's reign begins. I will go and inform her 
so. She cannot be insensible to my regard, to 



io8 BEAU BRUMMELL 

my love, for, strange to say, I begin to think I do 
love her. Yes, I believe I do. [Quite seriously,] 
And I think I love her madly — yes, I do, I love 
her madly. 

[Stands for a moment in deep thought; then walks 

slowly off through Centre door down the hall, 

Mariana enters from door down Right from 

reception room. She has a note in her hand, 

Mariana. Kathleen has conveyed to me my 

own letter to Reginald unopened. She says he 

has left his lodgings, and his landlady does not 

know when he will return. I am afraid men are 

not what they are represented to be. 

[Sits down in chair near the door at Right. Lord 
Manly comes on through hall and Centre 
door. He is slightly intoxicated. 
Lord Manly. Ah! Miss Vincent! What 
happiness. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 109 

Mariana. [Annoyed,] Here's another ! 

Lord Manly. Won't you drink something? 
I mean eat something? 

Mariana. [Not looking at him.] Thank you, 
I care for nothing! There can be no mistake; 
Kathleen vowed she delivered the letters. 

Lord Manly. You won't eat, and you won't 
drink — most 'straordinary ! What will you do ? 

Mariana. I will dispense with your society, 
sir. [As she riseSy she looks at him,] I do believe 
he is intoxicated. 

Lord Manly. She's coy! She's coy! No, 
fair creature, I haye foUoUed — foUoUed — I 
have foUolled — most 'straordinary I can't say 
folloUed — I have foUoUed you from room to 
room to find you. 

Mariana. And, ha\dng found me, you may 
leave me, sir ! 



no BEAU BRUMMELL 

Lord Manly. Leave you ! Never ! Never will 
I stir from this sacred spot. [In his endeavor to 
stand quite stilly he staggers and almost falls over.] 
I mean the sacred spot where you are. Miss 
Vincent, I adore you ! Fact. All you do, I see 
through rosy-colored glasses. 

Mariana. Wine-colored glasses you mean, sir. 
Let me pass ! 

Lord Manly. No, fair tantaUzer. [Nods his 
head with great satisfaction.] Good word — tan- 
taUzer. I will speak ; my heart is full. 

Marlana. There can be no doubt about the 
fulness. 

Lord Manly. Here on my knees \looks at 
knees] — egad, look at my knees. I have four 
knees instead of two knees — but, no matter — 
here on all my knees [kneels ^ almost falling] I will 
pour out — 



BEAU BRUMMELL iii 

Mariana. More liquor, sir ! You do not need 
it. 

Lord Manly. You cannot ignore me, my love, 
my passion, my adorashion — I mean adoration — 
Miss Vincent — I — 

[Beau has come on through Centre door, Un- 
perceived, he comes down, takes Lord Manly 
by the ear, making him rise and stagger hack. 

Beau. My dear Miss Vincent, how unfor- 
tunately unconventional. 

Lord Manly. Mr. Brunmiell, sir, you are no 
gentleman. 

Beau. My good fellow, you are no judge. 

Lord Manly. My honor, sir, my honor ! 

Beau. Fiddlesticks! Come, trot away, trot 
away. You may apologize to Miss Vincent to- 
morrow. 

Lord Manly. You apologize to me now, sir. 



112 BEAU BRUM M ELL 

Beau. I never had occasion to do such a thing 
in my life. [Walks up and looks off down the hall.] 
Now trot away; I think I see the Prince ap- 
proaching. 

Lord Manly. Proach aprincing! — I mean 
Prince approaching. Miss Vincent, it is with 
deep regret I say adieu ! 

[He stumbles to door at Right and goes of. 

Beau. [Coming down and offering Mariana a 
chair. She sits.] I heartily congratulate you, 
my dear Miss Vincent, on having escaped a scene. 
Nothing but the regard I bear you could have 
persuaded me to so nearly incur a possible fracas. 
Lord Manly was born with a silver spoon in his 
mouth, and he has thought it necessary to keep 
that spoon full ever since. But now that we 
have found one another, may I not be permitted 
to continue the conversation where it was broken 



f* 



BEAU BRUM M ELL 113 

off ? I desire to speak with you seriously. I wish 
to make a confession. I want to tell you what 
perhaps you know — when I first sought your 
hand, I did not bring my heart. I admired you, 
'tis true, but I did not love you — not then — 
not madly! I was — I am so deeply in debt, 
so hemmed in by my creditors, so hard pressed on 
every side, it was necessary for me to do some- 
thing to find the wherewithal to satisfy their just 
demands, or sink under my misfortunes and give 
up forever the life of the world which had become 
my very breath and being. The one means at 
my disposal to free myself from my difficulties 

« 

was a marriage. I knew your fortune and I 
sought you out. The admiration I entertained 
for you the first few days deepened into esteem, 
and finally expanded into love — mad love! 
That is why I have rehearsed this to you. At 



114 BEAU BRUMMELL 

first it was your fortune which allured me — but 
now it is yourself ! 

Mariana. Mr. Brunmiell ! 

Beau. Yet, were you penniless, I would not 
wed you. 

Mariana. [Rising in astonishment] Mr. 
Brummell ! 

Beau. Because I would not drag you down to 
share this miserable, uncertain lot of mine. No ! 
I would seek you once to tell you of my love, and 
then step aside out of your path, and never cross 
it again. I would not willingly, purposely en- 
compass your unhappiness. 

Mariana. [Slowly,] I begin to believe in you. 

Beau. I remember no other word that you 
have spoken. May I have the delight of pres- 
sing my very unworthy lips to your very dear 
hand? 



BEAU BRUMMELL 115 

[Masiana is about to give Beau her hand; 
then suddenly withdraws it. 

Mariana. I think, Mr. Brummell, I would 
rather you did not. 

Beau. [Thoughtfully,] I believe you are right. 
Yes, I am quite sure you are ! Thank you. 
You have. saved me from doing something very 
commonplace. 

Mariana. You are not angry, sir? 

Beau. I believe it is exactly fifteen years since 
I last lost my temper — but, Mariana, I still 
await your answer. It is a new sensation for 
Brimmiell to be kept waiting. 

Mariana. Will you leave me, sir, to consider 
my decision? I pray you, Mr. Brummell, give 
me a few moments here — alone. 

\She motions toward recess farthest down stage, 
and crosses toward it. 



ii6 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Beau. I would refuse you nothing. I will 
await your pleasure in this other recess, and seek 
you here in five slow minutes. 

[He motions toward the recess, the farthest up 
stage, and with a low bow to Mariana goes in 
and draws the curtain. 

Mariana. [Holding the curtain which closes 
the recess where she is standing.] I cannot bring 
myself to say yes to him, although a certain 
sympathy pleads in his behalf, and joins with 
pride to prompt me against Reginald, who has 
neglected me. Why has he not replied to my 
letters? /Tis very soon to be forgotten! Oh, 
Reginald, to be absent when most I needed you ! 
You are no better than the men of the world. 
Father is right. Mr. Brummell shall have his 
answer. [The Prince and Mrs. St. Aubyn 
enter at Centre door, so much engrossed in each 



BEAU BRUMMELL 117 

other that they do not see Mariana.] Oh, 
how provoking ! 

[Mariana hides in recess and draws the curtain. 

Beau. [Who has also looked out at that moment,] 
How very annoying! I shall have to play 
Patience on a window-seat, and wait. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. Yes. I must own to you, 
my sentiments toward Mr. Brummell are greatly 
altered. Until I met you — can you believe it ? 
— I positively thought him a man of some parts. 

Beau. [From the window,] Really, really ! 

Prince. Goddess! Of course, he has been 
much with me, and naturally smacks somewhat 
of my wit. 

Beau. Ah, that's very good! Very good! 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. But only as a false echo does, 
for he has none of your delicate pleasantry. 

Beau. No, thank goodness, I haven't. 



ii8 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. He mimics you in dress, in 
everything, but, then, you know, he never had 
your figure. 

[The Prince and Mrs. St. Aubyn go toward 
middle recess and seat themselves. 

Beau. Heaven forbid ! 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. He really has no taste. 

Prince. He showed that when he chose Miss 
Vincent for his marked attention. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. And do you think so, too? 
Why, I know Miss Vincent is an insignificant 
little thing, whose name has never been associated 
with any gentleman of quality, but, though with- 
out mind or manners, she has money, sir. She 
dresses like a guy, but her clothes, like the clouds, 
have silver lining. 

Mariana. [With a hasty look out of the curtain."} 
I wish I could escape by the window. 



BEAU BRUMMELL iig 

Beau. I've half a mind to crawl out of the 
window, but I might be observed. There's no 
resource but to try to go asleep. 

Prince. You are a flatterer and a coquette. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. No; only a woman — and 
under a spell. 

Prince. Damme, that sounds very fine. I 
should like — 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. Well? 

Prince. I should like to be one of those little 
words that kiss your lips and die. 

Beau. One of my pet speeches — number five. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. Beware, sir, let me warn you 
— remember, I have been married once already. 

Prince. 'Fore Gad, madam, I wish that you 
would marry twice. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. Never ! Now ! To be sure, 
I once thought there was something Uke love 



I20 BEAU BRUMMELL 

engendered in me by Mr. Brummell, but now I 
know it was not real love ; it was only a shadow. 

Prince. Why do you think that? 

[At tkis moment Vincent enters from the Centre 
door. All the curtains of the different windows 
are drawn so he can see no one. 

Vincent. I cannot keep away any longer; 
she's been sensible and accepted him, or they'd 
have been gone long before this. [Mrs. St. 
AuBYN moves tfte curtain a littUy with a slight ex- 
clamation,] There they are in the recess behind 
the curtain. Oh, he's clever — Mr. Brummell — 
very clever. 

Mils. St. Aubyn. I tremble to acknowledge, 
even to myself, the dictates of my own heart. 
Ah, sir, I conceive you know only too well who 
reigns there now. 

Vincent. [Who apparently cannot hear.] I 



BEAU BRUMMELL 121 

should just like to hear a word to see how the great 
Mr. Brummell makes love. I wonder would it 
be wrong now to listen a bit? Why should it 
be — am I not her father? It's my duty, and I 
will. [Comes further down and listens. 

Prince. Siren! You make me dnmk with 
joy! 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. No ; let me recover myself. 
You have bewitched me, sir. I must resist your 
fascinations, and not forget the difference in our 
rank. Fashion would condemn me. 

Prince. Damn Fashion! 

Vincent. Oh! Mr. Brvunmell a-damning 
Fashion. How he loves her ! How he loves her ! 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. Ah! sir, we women are so 
frail, so easily beguiled ! 

Prince. [Falling on his knees.] By Heaven, I 
will not lose you ! 



122 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Vincent. [Joyfully,] He's on his knees! 
He's on his knees ! 

Prince. Superb! sumptuous! beautiful wo- 
man! [Kisses her hand, 

Vincent. He's kissing her ! He's kissing her ! 

Prince. I swear I will marry you ! 

Vincent. \Who can restrain himself no longer^ 
rushes forward and draws curtain aside.] And so 
you shall ! Bless you, my — [Sees the Prince 
and Mrs. St. Aubyn. Falls hack,] Oh, Lord ! 
The Prince ! 

[All guests enter at Centre door. 

Prince. [Risings indignantly.] What do you 
mean, sir ? Confound your damned impudence ! 
Will some one show this gentleman — 

Beau. \Who has come slowly down.] Oh, take 
his blessing ; it won't hurt you. 

Prince. Damn his blessing ! 



BEAU BRUMMELL 123 

Beau. Be composed, my dear Wales, or you'll 
make a fool of yourself. 

Prince. [Too exasperated to take from Beau 
what he tistmlly thinks all right.] Oh, I am tired 
of your deuced impertinence, too. Beau. Step 
aside, step aside! 

Beau. [Slowly handing his snuff-box to the 
Prince.] My dear Wales, first you lose your 
equilibrium, and now you lose your temper. 
Take a little snuff. 

Prince. Damn your snuff ! 

[Knocks snuff-box out of Beau's hand. 

Beau. [Puts up his glass and looks quietly at 
him,] Very bad manners, very bad. I shall 
have to order my carriage. Wales, will you 
ring the bell? 

[Everybody is aghast at Beau's daring. The 
Prince stands petrified. Beau holds out his 



124 BEAU BRUMMELL 

hand to Mariana, who has been standing in 
the recess, half fainting. She comes forward, 
bows low to the Prince, and backs to the door, 
followed by her father y who is pitifully dejected. 
As Beau, with a last look at the Prince 
through his glass, turns and walks toward the 
door, 

THE CURTAIN FALLS 



THE TfflRD ACT 

The Mall, St. James Park, the great promenade 

where, every day, all London walks. There are 

benches on each side of the stage under the trees. 

At the back, ladies and gentlemen can be seen 

walking. 

[Mortimer comes on from right-hand side, 
and walks up and down impatiently. After 
a little, Kathleen appears in a great hurry. 

Kathleen. Oh! You're there, are you? 

Mortimer. [Indignantly.] Am I here ? 
You're half an hour late. 

Kathleen. [Airily.] Well, what do you ex- 
pect? Aren't I a woman? Say, what's the 
matter with your face? You have an awful 
gloomy expression of countenance. 

* 
125 



126 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Mortimer. [Laughing.] You little minx. 
Well, how goes it? 

Kathleen. [Crossing to bench and sitting down.] 
Why, bad. I can't for the life of me keep one 
lie from spoiling the other. Say, is all this true 
about Mr. Brummell and the Prince ? 

Mortimer. Yes. WeVe quarreled. 

Kathleen. And did the Prince cut ye's? 

Mortimer. No; we cut the Prince, and on 
account of you Vincents, too. The Prince is 
deuced put out with Mr. Brummell, [crosses to 
bench and sits] so Bendon told me. It's all abroad, 
and I left a swarm of creditors at the house, and, 
worse still, there are two bailififs after him. 
[Kathleen gives an exclamation of horror.] We 
must hurry on this marriage, Kathleen, or you 
and I'll be ruined. We must take pains to keep 
Mr.. Brummell and his nephew apart, for he's 



BEAU BR6MMELL 127 

that partial to him there's no telling what he 
mightn't do if he was to discover Miss Mariana 
and Mr. Reginald were lovers. 

Kathleen. And we must see to it that Miss 
Mariana and Mr. Reginald don't meet, else he'd 
explain how he'd never received any of her letters. 
I kept them all carefully, for I thought it might 
comfort him to read 'em after she was married 
to Mr. Brummell. But I must be off. [Rises,] 
Good morning, me Lud. 

[Makes very deep curtsy. 

Mortimer. [Bowing very low.] Till this even- 
ing, me Lady. 

Kathleen. Till this evening. 

[Turns to go out, and meets Reginald face to 
fa^e. 

Reginald. Ah! Kathleen, where have you 
been this last week ? 



128 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Kathleen. [Is very miich perturbed; Morti- 
mer has retreated to the back of the Mall, and has 
disappeared,] Here, sir, here. 

Reginald. Will your mistress be in the Park 
this morning? 

Kathleen. No, sir ; she left town to-day, sir. 

Reginald. [^4 little wistfully,] Was she — in 
good spirits, Kathleen ? 

Kathleen. Oh, beautiful, sir ! She skipt with 
joy. 

Reginald. [Gives ELathleen money, and then 
slowly walks away,] I cannot understand it. I 
am sure there is some mistake. 

Kathleen. [Looking at the coin disdainfully.] 
That's mighty small pay for a mighty big lie. 
Bad cess to him ! 

[She walks of at the Right with a toss of her head. 
As she disappears y Reginald comes down as 



BEAU BRUMMELL 129 

though to call her back^ but she has gone, and 
he turns to see Mortimer. 

Reginald. Ah, Mortimer, is Mr. Brummell 
weU? 

Mortimer. [Very respectfully y hat in hand.] 
No, sir. Not at all, sir. He can see no one, sir. 

Reginald. But he will see me? 

Mortimer. Excuse me, sir, but he especially 
mentioned your name, sir ; he could not even see 
you. 

Reginald. Will he not be in the Mall this 
morning? 

Mortimer. No, oh no, sir. 

Reginald. Well, tell him I will visit him to- 
morrow. 

[Reginald goes of down path to the Right, 

Mortimer. That was a tight squeeze. I ex- 
pect him here any moment. I must see him and 



ISO BEAU BRUMMELL 

warn him of the bailiffs, if he only arrives before 
they do. 

[Mortimer goes off hurriedly by a path to the 
Left. Beau enters from the lower left-hand 
side, and walks slowly to the Centre^ followed 
by Mortimer. Mortimer seems quite out 
of breath. Beau is dressed in dark green silk 
knee-breeches y green coat, black silk stockings, 
buckled shoes, frilled shirt and neckcloth; 
wears two fobs, carries cane with eye-glass in 
the top; has gray high hat of the period, yellow 
waistcoat, yellow gloves, large red boutonniere. 

Mortimer. Mr. Brummell, sir ! 

[Beau starts, turns, lifts cane slowly, looks at 
Mortimer through glass on top, then turns 
away and continues his walk. 

Mortimer. [Very deferentially, but firmly.] 
Mr. Brummell, sir ! 



BEAU BRUMMELL 131 

Beau. [Without turning.] I think there is 
some mistake. 

Mortimer. Excuse me, sir, but I must speak 
to you. 

Beau. You forget, Mortimer, servants in the 
street are like children at the table, — they may 
be seen, but must not be heard. 

Mortimer. I have not forgotten, sir, but this 
is serious. 

Beau. Serious ! then it is sure to be unpleasant 
— wait till I take some snuff. 

[Takes snuff very quietly, and with much ceremony 
replaces box; then nods to Mortimer and 
listens, 

Mortimer. Sir, your quarrel with the Prince 
is already common talk. 

Beau. [Brushing a little snuff off his ruffles,] 
Ah, poor Wales ! 



132 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Mortimer. There was a crowd of creditors 
at your door when I left, sir. 

Beau. That is neither new nor serious. 

Mortimer. But they were angry and would 
not go away. 

Beau. Why did you not send them off? 

Mortimer. Sir, we Ve been sending them off for 
the past two years, and now — they won't be sent. 
Besides, sir, there are two bailiffs who swore they'd 
have you if they had to take you in the Mall. 

Beau. Impossible! 

Mortimer. I fear not, sir; one is from Mr. 
Abrahams. 

Beau. Here? In the Mall? I would rather 
perish ! There is no help for it. [To himself,] 
I must make a shield of my marriage. I blush 
to do it, for it would seem to leave a blot upon ' 
my love for Mariana, but a blot upon that love 



BEAU BRUMMELL 133 

is better than a blot upon the name of Brummell, 
the name she is to wear. [Aloud to Mortimer.] 
Mortimer ! 

Mortimer. Yes, sir. 

Beau. You must hasten back and meet them, 
these dogs of bailiffs ; you must prevent them by 
telling them of my marriage to the daughter of 
Mr. Oliver Vincent. That prospect should satisfy 
them. Promise them all they demand — and 
added interest. [Beau starts to g9 of at the 
right-hand side; Mortimer also moves of to the 
Left.] Promise them everything. [Mortimer 
stops and bows respectfullyj then starts again. 
Beau moves on a few paces, then stops again.] 
Promise them anything ! 

[Mortimer again stops and bows. Beau 
moves on again, and Mortimer also starts 
again to go. Beau stops suddenly. 



( 
134 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Beau. And, Mortimer ! [Mortimer stops, and 
comes hack a few steps,] You must not go unre- 
warded [Mortimer looks pleased and expectant] ; 
promise yourself something ! 

[Beau walks slowly of at the right-hand side and 
Mortimer, with low how, replaces his hat, 
and goes quickly of at the Left side. 
Mortimer. [^4^ he exits,] Yes, sir! 
[Vincent and Mariana enter from the upper 
left-hand entrance, Mariana is dressed 
simply hut prettily in a light flowered silk 
gown and poke honnet, with a parasol, 
Vincent. We'll be sure to meet him here some- 
where. You must do it all, Mariana. He was 
just as haughty with me last night after we left 
Carlton House as he always was. You wouldn't 
have thought he had just sacrificed himself for me. 
Mariana. Sacrificed himself for you, papa? 



BEAU BRUMMELL 135 

Vincent. Isn't it sacrificing himself for him 
to give up his position in the world? And isn't 
that what he has done to resent your father's 
insult? 

Mariana. [Trying to lighten the seriousness 0] 
the situation.] I fancied he did it partly on my 
account, papa. 

Vincent. Of course, you little rogue, it was for 
us both, but it's you alone who can repay him. 
He hasn't a penny, and this rupture with the 
Prince has brought down all his creditors upon 
him. With the money your dowry will bring him 
[Mariana turns her head away, biting her lip], he 
can pay off his creditors and defy the Prince. 
Without it he can do neither, and is utterly ruined. 

Mariana. I realize, father, that it is through 
us this sudden calamity has come upon Mr. 
Brunmiell. It was you, papa, who were to blame. 



136 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Why did you bring down the curtain before the 
comedy was over? 

Vincent. [A little irritably,] Come, come, 
Mariana, you have too teasing a temper. 

Mariana. [Seriously enough now,] Ah, my 
dear father, I only want to help you by making 
light of the matter. Come [taking his arm and 
crossing slowly toward the Right], let us find Mr. 
Brummell. I am not blind to the fact that it 
was by protecting you and me he exposed himself 
to insult. Well, he shall not suffer for it. Father, 
I promise you that I will accept his hand ! 

Vincent. And I feel sure that it will mean 

happiness for you in the end. Wait here [seats 

Mariana on bench at Right] a moment, and I will 

return with Mr. Brummell. , 

[Vincent exits at the upper right-hand path, 

Mariana. Yes, yes. I must hesitate no 



BEAU BRUMMELL 137 

longer. I must think now only of my father, 
and not remember Reginald, who has neglected 
me. Gratitude and sympathy shall take the 
place of love in my heart. 

[Mrs. St. Aubyn enters from right-hand en- 
trance^ dressed very exquisitely in white^ — large 
white hat; she carries a fan, 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. Ah, Miss Vincent ! Is Mr. 
Bnmmiell with you? 

[Makes a very slight curtsy, 

Mariana. [Rising and curtsying,] No; my 
father. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. And you have him to thank 
for the scene last evening. It is he Mr. Brummell 
has to thank for the Prince's displeasure. 

Mariana. [Anxiously,] Madam, and is the 
Prince still angry? 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. \With great relish,] He is 



I40 . BEAU BRUMMELL 

ward Mariana.] What right have you to ask 
any one to give him up? 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. He sought my favors before 
you enticed him from me. 

Mariana. [Very quietly,] I do not believe that. 
Mrs. St. Aubyn. [Angrily,] You are uncom- 
monly insolent. [Then changing her tone to one 
of condescension.] Well, even if it were not so, I 
should still have the right to ask you. You 
seem to forget the difference in our position. 
[She sweeps past Mariana with a grand air 
toward the Right. At this moment Beau 
enters from the right-hand side ; he has over- 
heard the last speech. He crosses to the Centre^ 
bowing to Mrs. St. Aubyn as he passes her, 
and with a very low bow to Mariana says: 
Beau. It is you, Mrs. St. Aubyn, who forget. 
It is greatly to the credit of Miss Vincent if she 



BEAU BRUMMELL 141 

can overlook a difference your present conduct 
makes so very marked. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. \With a very low curtsy,] 
I will repeat to you what I have just said to Miss 
Vincent. 

Beau. [Airily,] Pray do not fatigue yourself, 
madam. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. You will learn that I know 
how to remain a friend when once I become one. 
I offered Miss Vincent the chance of regaining 
for you the Prince's friendship. - 

Beau. And your price ? 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. [In a low tone,] Yourself. 

Beau. [To Mariana.] And you, you refused ? 
[Mariana how^ her head,] It would have been 
most unflattering, madam, had Miss Vincent 
disposed of me so cheaply. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. \Who is now enraged almost 



142 BEAU BRUMMELL 

beyond the bounds of endurance.] Are you mad ? 
Do you know to whom you are speaking? You 
are somewhat rash, sir. Discard me, and the 
Prince shall know all. 

Beau. He knows so very little at present, the 
knowledge of anything would be largely to his 
advantage. And yet — I cannot imagine you 
will tell him — all. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. Your raillery is ill planned. 
A woman scorned — 

Beau. Pray spare us, Mrs. St. Aubyn; you 
were never intended for tragedy — it does not 
become you — and it produces [pause] — wrinkles. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. [Has now recovered her com- 
posure.] Mr. Brummell, I bid yqu adieu — you 
have taught me how to smile even when — tush 
— I am a woman of fashion ! [Crosses to Lefty 
passing Mariana.] Miss Vincent, I wish you 



BEAU BRUMMELL 143 

joy. [With an exaggerated deep curtsy, Mabiana 
curtsies. Looks of up the Left paths ^^ calls:] 
Manly — Lord Manly. [Manly comes on, raises 
hat, bows.] Lord Manly — your arm — your arm. 

[They go of arm in arm. 

Mariana. [Sinking down onhench.] Your regard 
and protection leave me too much in your debt. 

Beau. Pray let that debt weigh no more 
heavily on you than do my debts on me. One 
smile of yours had overpaid me. 

Mariana. If your creditors were as easily 
satisfied as you are, sir, I should be prodigal of my 
smiles. 

Beau. [Crossing to Mariana's side.] Ah, 
Mariana, if your smiles were the coinage, egad, 
I think I should turn miser. 

Mariana. You are not practical, sir I must 
make you so. 






i ."^.j «y iimk . S}L.\^- I "will 



.•§/ 1 . C^ tiK . M ou • di!d . >l vjCi vN -\ -^c c> honor 

:!t\ -i:?M a: 'a: %t %:u t:'! .:>t viXHe vonvi of OUT 

'T'jrn .fit K'.^fU, 

V_NC!:;-Nr. I v.^n*" diivi him invwhere. Fm 



BEAU BRUMMELL 145 

afraid he's hiding, poor fellow, from those bailiffs, 
and doesn't dare show his face lest he be taken. 
Where's Mariana? Has she changed her mind 
and gone? No, she gave her promise she'd 
accept him, and I can trust to her word. I'll 
search for her now, and perhaps, by so doing, I 
may find him. 

[Vincent goes out by upper pathy left-hand side. 

Two Bailiffs enter fromupper right-hand path. 

They are villainous-looking creatures; one limps 

— the other has a patch over one eye, and both have 

very red noses; they are dressed in ragged clothes. 

First Bailiff. Our gentleman's so fine we 

mustn't bother our eyes with winking, or he'll 

sUp through our fingers. 

Second Bailiff. Not if I know it. This is 
the most fashionable affair of my life. Look 
here — who's this ? 



BEAU BRUMMELL 147 

First Bailiff. We've been looking for you, sir. 

Beau. I am so sorry you have put yourself to 
that trouble, and you must not speak to me 
here. Do you realize what you are doing? 
Suppose some one were to observe you. My valet 
will attend to you. 

First Bailiff. Oh, we'll take care of your 
valet later ; it's you that we've got a couple of 
papers for this morning. I represent your land- 
lord, sir! 

[Beau lifts his cane with great deliberation, and 
looks at him through the glass. 

Beau. Are you the best he can do? 

First Bailiff. You have lived in his house 
three years, and he considers it's time as how you 
paid a bit of rent. 

Beau. [As though to himself.] The ungrateful 
wretch! The very fact of my having resided 



148 BEAU BRUMMELL 

in his house should be more than suflScient remu- 
neration. 
Second Bailiff. [Comes, up in front of Beau, 

while First Bailiff retires a littley shaking his 

« 

head as though completely puzzled,] And I am here 
for Mr. Abrahams and several other gentlemen. 

Beau. You remind me of the person in the 
theatre whom they call the super, who represents 
the enemy on the march or the company in the 
ballroom. We will dispense with your company, 
sir. 

First Bailiff. [Coming up again.] That 
won't do, Mr. Brummell. You must pay, or 
come along with us. 

[Makes vague gesture of thumb over shoulder. 

Second Bailiff. [Making same gesture as he 
withdraws again,] Yes, pay, or come along with 
us. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 149 

Beau. You men must be mad; the Prince will be 
here presently, and I will speak to him. [Rises. 

First Bailiff. [Obsequiously,] Oh, if His 
Royal Highness will help you, sir, of course we 
won't press matters. 

Beau. See that you do*not. And now, [looking 
at them through kis glass] trot away, trot away, 
and walk in Fleet Street; the Mall is really no 
place for you. 

[He turns, lifts his boutonnitre so he can inhale 
the perfume of the flowers, and then walks 
away with great deliberation. They stand 
staring after him for an instant, stupefied. 

First Bailiff. We'll keep our eye on our 
gentleman, just the same. These little rumors 
about the Prince and him might be true after all, 
and if they are, why, we won't walk in Fleet 
Street alone. 



I50 BEAU BRUMMELL 

[He pulls a black bottle out of his pockety takes a 
drink, and then hands it to the Second Bailiff, 
who also takes a drink; then they go of in the 
same direction Beau went. The Duchess, 
Lady Farthingale, Lord Manly and 
Sheridan come on from the left-hand path. 
Lord Manly and Lady Farthingale cross to 
the right-hand bench. Lady Farthingale sits, 
Manly stands by her side. Three ladies and 
gentlemen come on at the back and stand there, 
apparently chatting or listening to the Duchess. 
Duchess. Where can Beau have disappeared 

to? It's near time for the Prince to be out, and 

I wouldn't miss observing the meeting for worlds. 

Pray, Sherry, give us your opinion — will he 

cut him or not ? 
[The Duchess has been flying around, looking 
for Beau in every direction. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 151 

Sheridan. Really, Duchess, I cannot say what 
the Prince will do. He's too great a fool for me 
to put myself in his place. 

Manly. Damme, of course he'll cut him, and, 
moreover, Beau deserves it. 

Sheridan. [Decidedly,] Then, for my part, 
I say, let's move on. 

Duchess. [Equally decided,] We'll do no such 
thing. We must see for ourselves, so that we can 
trust our own ears and know how to treat Mr. 
Brummell accordingly. Besides, if we observe 
it, we can inform others of the affair correctly, 
and there will be some merit in that. 

[Sheridan moves away to the Rights with a shrug 
of his shoulders. 

Lady Farthingale. Mr. Brummell will never 
be able to stand it if he's injured. I should not 
wonder now if he fainted ! 



152 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Duchess. Dear me, do you think so? [Face 
falls as though disappointed,] I don't know, I'm 
afraid not. 

Sheridan. [Impatiently,] He's more likely to 
resent any insult, I'm convinced. 

Duchess. [Most excited, rushes to Lady Far- 
thingale.] What! A duel! Oh, Lud, Lady 
Farthingale, only think — a djael! Deuce take 
it, where can Beau be? I'm afraid the Prince 
will arrive first. 

Sheridan. [Sarcastically,] My dear Duchess, 
prithee be calm; you are too great an enthu- 
siast. 

Duchess. [Looking of at the Right,] Here 
comes Mr. Brummell, I vow. Do you notice 
anything different in his manner of walk- 
ing? 

Sheridan. [Monocle in eye, looks of in direc- 



BEAU BRUMMELL 153 

tion Beau is supposed to be.] He seems to have 
the same number of legs as formerly. 

[He crosses over to the Left. 

Duchess. Oh, you may rail at me, Sherry, 
but it's no laughing matter for Mr. Brummell, I 
can tell you. 

Lady Farthingale. [Rising so she can see 
better.] He's coming — he's coming! 

Duchess. Lud, we must not expose ourselves! 
We must at least feign utter ignorance of the 
affair. [Beau enters.] Ah, Beau! 

[The ladies curtsy y the men raise their hats. 

Beau. Still loitering. Duchess? I was so 
afraid you would have returned home. 

[Rejoins Sheridan on the other side. 

Duchess. [Aside to Lady Farthingale.] 
You hear? A hint for us to go, but he'll not 
hoodwink his Duchess. [To Beau.] We were 



154 BEAU BRUMMELL 

just going, but we'll rest a moment for another 
chat with you. 

Beau. Too good of you, Duchess. Are you 
not afraid to risk your — what's that called, 
Sherry ? [Touching his cheek, 

Sheridan. [Much embarrassed,] Complexion. 

Beau. Yes, your complexion in the sun. 

[Chats with Sheridan. Duchess, very angry, 
does not know what to say until Lady Far- 
thingale's speech gives her a chance to show 
her spitefulness. 

Lady Farthingale. Here comes His Royal 
Highness ! 

Duchess. [Looking off at the Right,] The 
Prince! Is he truly? I didn't expect him this 
morning. Beau, the Prince is coming. 

Beau. [Indifferently,] Is he really? Where's 
the music? In the play the Prince always comes 



BEAU BRUMMELL 155 

on with music. Let's be going, Sherry, there's 
no music. 
{Takes Sheridan's arniy and they move of to the 

Left 

Duchess. [Meaningly,] What, Beau, you 

wouldn't leave before His Royal Highness comes ? 

Beau. [Seeing there is no escape j meets his fate 

gallantly.] By my manners, no ! Sherry, let 

us meet him. 

[They turn and start to the Right, as the Prince 

enters with Mrs. St. Aubyn on his arm. The 

Duchess has retreated back to where Lady 

Farthingale is stttnding. 

Duchess. The deuce, did you hear that, Lady 

Farthingale ? 

[Beau and Sheridan reach the Centre and stop. 
The Prince and Mrs. St. Aubyn pass 
directly by Beau, although he stands, hat in 



156 BEAU BRUMMELL 

hand, and the Prince addresses Sheridan. 
Beau replaces hat and listens with an amused 
expression. 
Prince. Sup with me to-night, Sherry, after 
the play. Mrs. St. Aubyn and the Duchess will 
be there with us, and, egad, we'll make a night 
of it. 
[Sheridan can only bow acquiescencCy and the 
Prince and Mrs. St. Aubyn move on a 
little way. Beau, lifting his glass, looks 
after them and says to Sheridan : 
Beau. Sherry, who's your fat friend? 
[Sheridan is divided between delight and amaze- 
ment at his daring, and consternation at 
thought of the consequences, and whispers in 
Beau's ear. 
Prince. [Who has stopped short,] Well — 
damn his impudence ! 



BEAU BRUMMELL 157 

Beau. [Affects not to hear or understand 

Sheridan.] I beg your pardon, who did you say ? 

I had no idea he looked like that. Is it really? 

You don't say so? Dear, dear, what a pity! 

What a pity ! 

[Takes Sheridan's arm and they go of at the 

Right, Beau with his usual imperturbable air, 

and Sheridan visibly shaking and dejected. 

The Prince and Mrs. St. Aubyn are at the 

Left J the Prince speechless with rage, and Mrs. 

St. Aubyn trying to say something consoling. 

Duchess. Well, I've had all my pains for 

nothing. 

Lady Farthingale. But, Duchess, did you 
see? 

Duchess. See what? There was nothing to 
see ! [With a chuckle.] Lud, Beau got the best 
of it. 



158 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. Duchess, you look ill. 
Doesn't the air agree with you, or is it the day- 
light ? 

Duchess. [Loftily.] I hope, my dear Mrs. 
St. Aubyn, you'll never look worse. 

\With a deep curtsy. 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. \With affected horror,] 
Heaven forbid ! 

[The Prince and Mrs. St. Aubyn exit at Left, 
All the people at back exit. 

Duchess. Come, let's be going. [Lord 
Manly ojffers one arm to the Duchess, Lady 
Farthingale takes his other arm. They move of 
toward the Left.] Where can Beau have dis- 
appeared to ? Of course, it's of no interest to us, 
only I must say it was uncommonly ill-natured of 
him not to make more of a scene for our sakes, 
you know. 



a 



BEAU BRUMMELL 159 

[They all go out. Beau and Sheridan enter 
from the Right, followed by the Two Bailiffs. 
Sheridan speaks as they come on, 
Sheridan. Your marriage, my dear Beau, 
will redeem your misfortune, and it is the only 
thing that will. 
[They have reached the Centre by this time, and 
Beau sees the Bailiffs. He stops, puts up his 
glass, looks at them, and says : 
Beau. [Shaking his finger at Sheridan.] 
Sherry, Sherry, who are these fellows following 
you? 
[Sheridan turns and sees the Bailiffs, and be- 
comes much agitated. 
Bailiff. Mr. Brummell, sir ! 
[Beau sees iVs no use to try to deceive Sheridan. 
Beau. Zounds! Proceed. Sherry, I will 
join you in a moment. Well, my good men ! 



i6o BEAU BRUMMELL 

[Sheridan hurries of, shaking his head sadly. 

Beau. You donkeys, would you ruin me ? 

Bailiff. Come, come, weVe had enough of 
your airs, now. You'd better come along with 
us quietly. [Places finger on Beau's shoulder. 

Beau. [Moves away.] For Heaven's sake, 
don't put those hands on me! Why don't you 
wear gloves? [Bailiff, who had retreated a step, 
comes closer.] And don't come so close. You 
are too hasty and ill-advised — you have no 
manners. [Bailiffs retreat in real confusion and 
astonishment.] There's one resource, I must tell 
them. [He takes out snuff-box, and takes snuff 
with great deliberation, and does not speak until he 
has returned box, brushed his lace ruffles, — then he 
turns to them.] Had you met my valet he would 
have delivered to you my message. It was to the 
effect that the banns of marriage between the 



BEAU BRUMMELL i6i 

daughter of Mr. Oliver Vincent and myself are to 
be published in St. James's on Sunday. As the 
son-in-law of the merchant prince, I can not only 
satisfy your master's demands, but handsomely 
remember you yourselves. Now, trot away, trot 
away, anywhere out of my sight. [Turns away. 

Bailiff. We Ve heard one of your fine stories be- 
fore, and we don't go till you prove what you say. 

Beau. How very annoying ! [Looks of at Left 
and sees Mariana. His face lights up,] Here 
comes Mariana. Here is the young lady herself. 
Withdraw and you shall have your proof. 

[Bailiffs look at each other. 

First Bailiff. [A little doubtfully.] Well! 

Second Bailiff. [Still more doubtfully.] Well ! ! 

First Bailiff. Well, we'll see what it is, eh? 

[They exit at the back Left. Beau walks down to 
the Right, brushes his shoulder where the Bail- 



i62 BEAU BRUMMELL 

iff's hand had restedy turns and crosses toward 
Left as though to meet Mariana, and suddenly 
stops. 
Beau. What! [Looks again as though he 
thought himself mistaken,] Reginald and Mari- 
ana ! Mariana and Reginald ! 

[Shakes his head as though to dispel the thoughts 
that would come. Then walks slowly toward 
the path at backy leading of to the Left, Mari- 
ana enters hastily, followed by Reginald, both 
much agitated, 
Reginald. I have been wretched beyond the 
telling — iny letters left unanswered, not one 
word from you in fourteen days ! 

Mariana. My letters and appeals unanswered 
is what you mean, sir. I wrote you even up to 
yesterday, and Kathleen vowed that she delivered 
all the notes till then. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 163 

Reginald. To whom did she deliver them? 
'Twas not to me. 

Mariana. [With a cry of joy,] What, you did 
not receive them? Then Kathleen has played 
me false. Oh, Reginald, what I have suffered in 
wrongly thinking you untrue to me. 

Reginald. Such doubt of me was cruel, 
Mariana, but [lightly] come, ask my pardon and 
see how quickly I'll forgive you. 

[Comes to her and tries to take her hands, but 
Mariana draws away, 

Mariana. No — no! I cannot, I cannot. 

Reginald. [Misunderstanding,] Then see, I'll 
forgive without the asking. 

Mariana. [Still refusing to let him take her 
hand,] Reginald, what will you think? How 
can I tell you? It is too late now. 

Reginald. Too late! What do you mean? 



i64 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Mariana. I have promised myself to another. 

[Beau is seen at backy head bowed, his attitude 
one of utter sadness, 

Reginald. [Forcibly,] You must break that 
promise. To whom has it been given? 

Mariana. To Mr. Brummell. 

Reginald. Mr. Brummell! [In shocked sur- 
prise,] Great Heavens! Mariana, he is my 
best friend — my benefactor. 

Mariana. No — no! 

Reginald. My mother's only brother. It is he 
who, since her death, has cared for me most ten- 
derly, and, all my life, has shielded me from every 
harm. 

Mariana. He is overwhelmed now by his 
difficulties. His creditors are like bloodhounds 
on his track. He has sacrificed himself for me 
in defence of my father. Through me alone 
can he be rid of his distresses. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 165 

Reginald. And he loves you. I know that, 
too, and you, do you love him? 

Mariana. [Reproachfully,] You should not 
ask me that. 

Reginald. [Taking her hands,] You are right ! 
But I cannot give you up, nor can I see my uncle 
ruined ; he is the one man in the universe from 
whom I would not steal your love. 'Tis you who 
must decide. 

Mariana. And I have done so. I am his. 

[Beau comes down to the Centre, Reginald and 
Mariana draw hack on each side. 

Beau. No — no, I give you up ; I release you 
from your promise. 

[The Baiuffs enter and stand at hack, listen^ 
ing, 

Mariana. [Starting forward,] Sir 1 

Beau. Take her, Reginald ! 



i66 BEAU BRUMMELL 

{He holds out his hand to Mariana, who is 
about to give him hersy when she stops, and 
withdraws her hand, 

Mariana. No, I am yours. I will not be 
released. Our love would not be happiness if it 
entailed your ruin. Reginald has told me that 
he owes to you his life. My father and myself 
have greater cause for gratitude to you than I can 
say. I hold you to your vows. 

Beau. Impossible; I now release you. 

Reginald. [Sees the^MLTEY^.] Great Heavens, 
the bailiiffs ! You shall not sacrifice yourself for 
us. I join with Mariana against myself, and say 
that she is yours. 

Beau. [Looks at him with great affection,] 
No — no ! [Brushes an imaginary speck from his 
sleeve,] I love you both too well to come between 
your young hearts' happiness. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 167 

Mariana. [In a last effort to change him.] 
And yet you loved me ! 

[Beau takes a step toward her with a look oj 
love and reproach. 

Beau. Mariana! No, [lifting his hat and 
turning away] I must leave you. 

Reginald. You shall not; we will speak to 
Mr. Vincent and he will help you. 

Beau. [Reprovingly,] I have no claim what- 
ever on Mr. Vincent. [Bailiffs standing at hack 
give a nod to each other,] Take her, Reginald; 
wear her very near your heart for my sake. 
[Hands Mariana to Reginald.] And now I 
would accompany you further, but I cannot — 
not now. \With a slight^ almost imperceptible turn 
toward the Bailiffs.] I happen to have a very 
pressing engagement — with — with — His Maj- 
esty! 



1 68 BEAU BRUMMELL 

[Beau turnSy after a very ceremonious bow to 
Mariana to the Rights and moves of. The 

Bailiffs have come down, and follow him 
closely; one of them taps him on the shoulder. 
Beau stops for an instant^ then takes out snuff- 
box, and takes snuff, and walks slowly off with 
the greatest dignity. Mariana hides her face 
on Reginald's shoulder as 

THE curtain falls 



THE FOURTH ACT 

Scene One. A lodging house at Calais — a room 
at the top of the house. The shabbiest furni- 
ture, bare floor , window at the back with rude 
settle in it; the tops of neighboring houses can be 
seen from the window, A large fireplace with 
small fire is at the Rights with a door below, leading 
into another room, A table stands in the middle 
of room with a chair each side. Another door at 
the Left leads into the hall. Beau is discovered 
sitting in front of fireplace with his back to the 
audience. He is dressed in a yellow brocaded 
dressing-gown J apparently the same one worn in 
Act I y but with its glory gone, — faded and worn, 
torn in places. He wears old black slippers, with 
white stockings and brown trousers,^^slit so at the 

m 

169 



I70 BEAU BRUMMELL 

bottom and then buttoned tight, ^^ His hair is a 
little gray J his face thin and worn. At the rise of 
curtain Mortimer enters from hallway. He, 
too, shows the wear and tear of poverty. All his 
jauntiness has gone; he is shabbily dressed. 
After waiting a minute to see if Beau will 
notice him, he speaks: 

Mortimer. Not a letter, sir. No answer to 
those we sent over a month ago. Only one tq me 
from Kathleen, to say if I don't return immedi- 
ately she will take to Mr. Sheridan's gentleman 
for good, and enclosing me the passage-money 
over. [Beau turns a little and looks at him, as 
though to see if he is going.] I — I — gave it to 
the bootmaker, whom I met at the foot of the 
stairs with a bailiiff as I came in. 
[Beau sinks back in his chair again, satisfied 
that Mortimer will not leave him. 



BEAU BRUM M ELL 171 

Beau. If you would not use it for yourself, 
Mortimer, you might at least have bought a 
paie for dinner instead; we should have had 
something to eat, and we could have made the 
bailiff stop and dine with us. Could you make 
no further loans? 

[His voice is harsh and strained, 
Mortimer. No more, sir. I tried everywhere. 
No one will trust us any more. 

Beau. Mortimer, what will become of us? 

Think what the finest gentleman of his time is 

undergoing. It's enough to drive one mad. 

Mortimer. Have you nothing more to sell, 

sir? 

[Beau rises and comes to the table. He has a 

snuff-box in his hand — a small black onCy in 

great contrast to the jewelled box fie carried 

in the earlier scenes. 



172 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Beau. My last snuff-box. You would not 
have me dispose of that, Mortimer — a paltry trifle 
that would bring nothing. No, there is nothing, 
Mortimer. Everything belongs to that wretched 
female creature who dignifies this hovel with the 
name of lodgings. 

[Lotid knocking is heard at the doofy which is 

thrown violently open^ and the Landlady 

stalks in. She is a very determined-looking 

woman, short and stout, with a red face and a 

pronounced mustache. She is dressed in a 

rather short blue skirt, heavy shoes, blue denim 

apron, black blouse with white neckerchief, a 

white cap with broad frill. Stands with arms 

akimbo, looking at Beau disdainfully. 

Beau. Talking of angels ! Good morning, my 

dear madam. So courteous of you to come. It 

is not my reception day, but you are always 



BEAU BRUMMELL 173 

welcome. Mortimer, offer this good lady a 
chair. 

Landlady. [Speaks with French accent] Chair, 
humph! Your Mortimer had better offer me 
some money, some rent money, or I'll have you 
both shown to the door, do you hear? [Rapping 
on table; Beau starts as though in distress at each 
loud rap.] That's what I come to say. [Morti- 
mer now ofers her a chair.] No, I thank you, 
I'll stand! It's my own chair, and I will not 
wear it out by sitting in it. 

Beau. Then sit in it yourself, Mortimer; I 
cannot permit you to stand; you are tired. 
I'm so sorry, my dear madam, that I have 
nothing to offer you; the supplies for which 
Mortimer went out a short time ago have not 
yet arrived. 

Landlady. [Sneeringly,] SuppUes ! Not yet 



174 BEAU BRUMMELL 

arrived ! Well, when they do they will not pass 
my door, I'll tell you that. 

[Hammers on table again. 

Beau. [Wincing.] Do, my dear madam, do 
help yourself. And speaking of helping your- 
self reminds me, would you mind returning some 
of my shirts? I am sure you cannot wear them 
yourself. Mortimer ! 

Mortimer. Yes, sir. 

Beau. How many were there in the wash last 
week? 

Mortimer. Twelve, sir. 

Beau. Yes — now if you wouldn't mind re- 
turning — Mortimer ! 

Mortimer. Yes, sir. 

Beau. How many shall I require for the re- 
mainder of the week ? 

Mortimer. Five, sir. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 175 

Beau. Yes, if you would not mind returning 
five, I think I might manage for the remainder of 
the week. 

Landlady. \Who has been restraining her 

wrath with difficulty,] I'll do nothing of the sort, 

sir, and I'm sick of your fine manners. I want 

more of the money, and less of the politeness. 

\With an exaggerated how^ mocking Beau. 

Beau. [Taking snuff.] You mean, my dear 
madam, you want more of the politeness and less 
of the money. 

Landlady. [Furiously.] What! You dare 
insult me? Pay me to-day, or out into the 
street you go ! Your polite talk may do good 
there. It may do for the stones, but it will not 
do for the flesh, not for this flesh. Pauper! 
Pauper ! Bah ! 

[She shouts the last three words, and as she gets to 



176 BEAU BRUMMELL 

the door on "Bah" bangs door and goes out. 
At the word "Pauper," Beau stands as 
though turned to stone. 

Beau. [Very slowly,] Mortimer. 

Mortimer. Yes, sir. 

Beau. What did she call me? 

Mortimer. [Half sobbingly.] Pauper, sir. 

Beau. [Sinking into chair by right of table,] 
Pauper ! 

Mortimer. I am afraid, sir, she's in earnest. 

Beau. [Quite simply,] She had that appear- 
ance. Mortimer, we must find the money some- 
how, or I must leave Calais to-night. 

Mortimer. [Hesitatingly,] That packet of let- 
ters, sir, for which you have had so many offers 
from publishers. 

Beau. What packet, Mortimer? 

Mortimer. Your private letters of gossip and 



BEAU BRUMMELL 177 

scandal from people of the Court. I know you 
have been averse, sir — 

[His voice dies away^ as Beau, drawing himself 
upf gives him a withering glance. 

Beau. Mortimer, you surprise me. I thought 
you knew me better. No. I would rather suffer 
anything than live by sacrificing the reputation 
of those who once befriended me. [Opens drawer 
in table, and takes out packet of letters tied with a 
faded ribbon. Fondles them for an instant, — then 
goes to fireplace, kneels and throws them into the 
flames.] There they go, Mortimer. There they 
go — and almost any one of them might break a 
heart or blast a reputation. And see how swiftly 
they vanish, — as swiftly as would the reputa- 
tions which they are destroyed to save. 

Mortimer. I was wondering, sir, if it would do 
to appeal to His Majesty. He might overlook 



178 BEAU BRUMMELL 

what happened when he was Prince. He passes 
through Calais to-day, sir. 

Beau. [Rising and coming to table,] I have 
thought of it, Mortimer, but I fear it would be in 
vain — well, we might try. Go to him, Morti- 
mer, go to him, and take him [pauses to think 
what Mortimer can take^ and feels snuff-box in 
pocket; takes it out and handles it lovingly] — take 
him this snuff-box. [Gives Mortimer the box. 
Hardly has it left his hands, however, when he 
reaches out for it again,] That is, you might take 
him the box, but, perhaps, you'd better not take 
him the snuff. [Mortimer gives Beau the box. 
Beau picks up a paper lying on the table, saying:] 
Bills, bills. [Makes the paper into a cornucopia, 
and empties the snuff from the box into it; then taps 
box on the table, loosening any remaining particles of 
snuff with his finger; then looks at table and scrapes 



BEAU BRUMMELL 179 

any remaining there into the cornucopia; finally 
hands box to Mortimer.] Give it to him with 
your own hands, — say Mr. Brummell presents his 
compliments. And if that fails, like everything 
else — why then — 

Mortimer. And what then, sir? 

Beau. Then, [taking snuff elegantly from cornu- 
copia] then, Mortimer, I can starve. And I 

promise you I shall do it in the most elegant man- , 

ner. '\ And you — you, Mortimer, must return to 
that Japanese girl ; what's her name? 

Mortimer. [Tearfully,] Kathleen, sir. 

Beau. Yes. Kathleen. 

[Knock at door, Mortimer opens it and starts 
back astounded. 

Mortimer. Mr. Vincent, sir. 

[Vincent enters, puffing from the climb upstairs. 

Beau. [Is astonished and annoyed; puts the 



^^ 



i8o BEAU BRUMMELL 

cornucopia of snuff hastily into his pocket , and draws 
his dressing-gown around him,] Mr. Vincent! 
My dear sir ! Why, how did you find your way 
here? You should have been shown into the 
reception-room, or my drawing-room, or my 
library; you find me in my morning-gown, in 
my morning-room. I make a thousand apologies. 

Vincent. Don't, don't ; I was passing through 
Calais and I just happened in. Phew, you're 
pretty high up here ! 

Beau. Yes; the air is so very much purer. 

Will you be seated, Mr. It is still Mr, 

Vincent, is it not? [To himself:] He must not 
know my want, my poverty; I could not suffer 
this man's pity or compassion. 

Vincent. [Sits at left of table,] Before I forget 
it, let me ask you to do me the honor of dining 
with me to-day. 



BEAU BRUM M ELL i8i 

Beau. [With an involuntary drawing-in of the 
breath,] Dine ! At what hour? 

Vincent. I always dine at five o'clock. 

Beau. Thank you; but I fear you will have 
to excuse me. I could not possibly dine at such 
an hour. 

[Turns from table, and goes up toward window, 

Vincent. [Aside.] Not changed much in 
spirit, but in everything else — [Aloud,] Well, 
Mr. Brummell, you must lead a dull life of it 
here in Calais. 

Beau. [Still at window, and jauntily.] You 
forget, Mr. Vincent, that by li\dng in Calais I do 
what all the young bucks do — I pass all my 
time between London and Paris. 

Vincent. Witty as ever, Mr. Brummell. The 
sea air does not dampen your spirits. 

Beau. No; and I use none other. That is 



i82 BEAU BRUMMELL 

the reason I have nothing to offer you. Had I 
known of your coming I should have been better 
prepared to receive you. 

[Comes down and sits at right of table. 

Vincent. [Looking around the room,] You 
must be hard pressed for money, if you don't 
mind my saying so. 

Beau. [Very hastily and airily y and rising,] Oh, 
no! You have quite a mistaken notion of my 
affairs, because you miss certain useless articles 
given away as pledges — [swallows a word] 
ahem — of gratitude for favors shown me. I 
always pay a debt, Mr. Vincent, when it's a social 
one. 

Vincent. But those other debts which rumor 
says are overwhelming you again. Now, if you'd 
let me pay them — 

Beau. [Sits' at right of table. In a very cold 



BEAU BRUMMELL 183 

tone.] Thank you, thank you. No doubt you 
intend to be kind, but you are impertinent. 
[Vincent turns away rebuffed and disappointed. 
Beau to himself:] No, I will not be so humiliated 
by her father. I would rather tell a little lie 
instead. [To Vincent.] I assure you, since 
the renewal of my friendship with the Prince, 
now His Majesty ! — 

[Makes a slight bow at *^His Majesty,'* 

Vincent. [Coming down^ delighted,] Friend- 
ship with His Majesty ! 

Beau. What ! Has not rumor told you that, 
too ? She's a sorry jade, and sees only the gloomy 
side of things. Then, I suppose you have not 
heard that the King has pensioned me ! 

[Takes handkerchief from pocket; it is full of 
holes, 

Vincent. But — 



i84 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Beau. I see you still have that very unfor- 
tunate habit of "butting.** Why, how, how, 
without a pension, could I keep up this establish- 
ment? [Holding up the tattered handkerchief in 
his trembling handy he says, aside :] If he can tell 
me that he will help me more than he knows. 

Vincent. All the more reason, then, wiiy you 
should return to London and marry my daughter. 

Beau. Are you still obstinate on that point? 
Do you still refuse her to Reginald? 

[Knock is heard at door, 
. Vincent. There is Mariana. I told her to 
join me here. 

Beau. [Rises in consternation, draws his dress- 
ing'gown around him, looks down at it,] Mariana 
— Miss Vincent, coming here. Mr. Vincent, one 
moment, one moment, Mr. Vincent, one moment. 

[Goes hastily to door at Right, hows to Vincent, 



BEAU BRUM M ELL 185 

and exits, Mariana enters from hall door 
at Left, 

Mariana. Is he here? Have you succeeded? 

Vincent. My child, we have heard false 
reports in town. He has a pension from His 
Majesty. He is friends with the King. Dear 
me ! I hope I haven't offended him. 

Mariana. A pension, papa! [And then as 
she looks around the dingy room,] Are you quite 
sure he's not deceiving you? 

Vincent. Quite sure ; he could not deceive me. 

Mariana. Then, father, there is no further 
need for me to make the sacrifice you demanded, 
and which Mr. Brummeirs need did justify. 

Vincent. By no means. I am all the more 
determined on it. 

Mariana. I also am determined now, and say I 
will not marry him. 



1 86 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Vincent. Tut, tut! Hush, he's coming — 
he's somewhat changed. 

[Beau enters. He has put on his coat — a 
shabby, full-skirted brown coat. Has dingy 
black neckerchief on. Bows very low to 
Mariana. 

Beau. Good morning, my dear Miss Vincent. 
I trust the stairs have not fatigued you. You 
should feel at home, so high up among the angels. 

Mariana. [Shows she is much afected by 
Beau's changed appearance,] I am most pleased, 
sir, that we find you happy with the world and 
with yourself. We had feared otherwise. 

Beau. I lead a charmed life ; even now, you 
see, it brings you to me. 

Mariana. And has it brought your nephew, 
too, sir? 

Beau. That may be your privilege. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 187 

Mariana. I trust it may be, or else that you 
will bring him back to me. 

[As she says this, she turns away and goes up 
toward the window with Vincent, who shows 
he is not pleased at this speech. At this 
moment, Reginald enters quickly, throwing hat 
on table as he goes by, and rushing up to 
Beau, holds out his hand eagerly, 
Reginald. Uncle! 

Beau. [With great affection.] Reginald ! [Then 
recollecting himself.] No, Reginald, a glance 
of the eye. Reginald, my boy, you here, too! 
Reginald. I heard yesterday of your dis- 
tresses — 

Beau. [Hastily interrupting him.] Do you not 
see Miss Vincent and her father? [Reginald 
turns, sees Mariana, and crosses to window to her, 
where they stand eagerly talking. Vincent goes 



i88 BEAU BRUMMELL 

toward hall door, evidently very anocious to get 
Mariana away.] I might have accepted it 
from him, but he has Come too late. This 
Vincent shall not know the truth. But Regi- 
nald shall have Mariana, and Vincent shall give 
her to him. 

Vincent. I think, my dear, you had better go 
and wait downstairs for me. 

Beau. No, no, let Miss Vincent remain; my 
nephew will entertain her, [Reginald and Mari- 
ana a^ this begin talking more confidentially] and I 
wish to consult you privately in my room for a few 
moments. 

Vincent. Now, my dear Mr. Brummell, I 
must insist on Mariana's retiring. 

Beau. And I must insist that Miss Vincent 
remain. I see your manners have not improved. 
I will not detain you a moment. I wish to ask 



BEAU BRUMMELL 189 

your advice. I hear an earldom is soon likely to 
become vacant. Now, who's eligible? 

Vincent. An earldom ! 

Beau. You know more about matters in town 
than I, and I wish to be prepared in case my 
influence should be needed. Now, what name 
would you suggest? 

Vincent. [Gasping.] You honor me, Mr. 
Brimmiell. 

Beau. Very likely, but I wish you wouldn't 
gasp so. Indeed, I do honor you in asking you 
for your daughter's hand — 

[Reginald and Mariana start and look around. 

Vincent. [Bows very low.] Mr. Brummell! 

Beau. For my nephew ! 

[Reginald and Mariana turn again toward 
window, relieved.] 

Vincent. My dear Mr. Brummell, you know 



igo BEAU BRUMMELL 

I am opposed to that, and I hope to persuade 
you — 

Beau. [Significantly.] Who is eligible for the 
earldom — exactly — and I think — mind, I say 
I think — we both have the same person in mind. 
But, first, I must persuade you who is eligible 
for your daughter. 

{He hows to Vincent and motions him to door 
at Right, 

Vincent. [Speaking as he goes,] Gad! 
Zounds! An earldom! If this should be my 
opportunity at last. Mariana shall marry the 
boy if he wants it. [Eodts, 

Beau. [Turns to speak to Mariana and 
Reginald, and finds them so absorbed in each other 
they do not even see him. He attracts their attention 
by knocking a chair on the floor. They start 
guiltily apart.] My dears, I am about to draw 



BEAU BRUMMELL 191 

up the marriage settlement, and, perhaps, I'll 
make my will at the same time and leave you 
everything. [They both bow.] I will now allow 
you to settle the preliminaries by yourselves. 
[They immediately retire again to the window, 
and are once more absorbed in each other. 
Beau stands watching them for a Jew minutes, 
then turns away, puts hand over his eyes and 
totters off. 
Mariana. [Coming down left of table.] But I 
don't understand, do you? 

Reginald. [Coming down to her side.] I don't 
desire to. I take the fact as it is. [Kisses her. 
Mariana. I think you take much else besides, 
sir. Aren't you a trifle precipitate? 

Reginald. No, this is the first preliminary. 
[Puts arm around her waist.] I think I shall 
linger over the preliminaries. 



192 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Mariana. But has my father relented? 

Reginald. Surely! Or why did you come 
here? 

Mariana. We heard Mr. Brummell was in 
great distress, and we came to help him, but we 
found the rumors were false; his friendship 
with the King has been renewed. 

Reginald. Thank Heaven! Then his troubles 
are at an end. 

Mariana. My father still clung to the idea of 
our marriage. 

Reginald. And you? 

Mariana. That question is superfluous, sir. 
Have I not allowed the first preliminaries to be 
settled ? 

[Beau and Vincent enter — Vincent a litUe 
ahead of Beau. Also Mortimer comes on 
dejectedly from hall door. 



Mariana, come to your father. Are you 



BEAU BRUMMELL 193 

Beau. Reginald, give me your hand. 

[Reginald crosses to him. 
Vincent. [Who has crossed over to left of table,] 

still 
bent on marrying him? 

Mariana. You mean, papa, that he is still 
bent on marrying me, and that I — I am not 
unwilling. 

Vincent. She is yours, sir. 

Reginald. [Coming back to Mariana.] Mine ! 

Mortimer. [Goes up to Beau at right of table, 
and hands him snuff-box.] It was returned without 
a word, sir. 

Beau. [In a loud tone,] Beg Her Grace to 
excuse me this afternoon. 

Mortimer. Yes, sir. 

Reginald. You will dine with us. Uncle 
Beau, on board the vessel? 



194 BEAU BRUM M ELL 

Beau. Thank you, but I fear you will have 
to excuse me, and now pardon me if I ask you to 
retire. I happen to have a very pressing en- 
gagement. 

Mariana. When will you be in London, sir. 
You will be there for our wedding? 

Beau. I hope so — and you must accept some 
little present, some little trifle, some little token 
of my affection and regard — some — some — 
remembrance. Now what shall it be? Eh? 
What shall we say? [They all look around the 
room, which is, of course, bare oj all ornament.] 
What do you i;eally think you would like best — 
hum ? [Absently fingers the snuff-box which 
Mortimer brought him.] Ah, yes, this snufl[- 
box — it has just been sent to me by — His 
Majesty. 

[Hands Mariana snuff-box, which she takes 



BEAU BRUMMELL 195 

with deep curtsy and goes hack to Reginald, 
showing it to him. 
Vincent. [At door as he goes out,] I shall 

probably hear from you, Mr. Brummell ? 
Beau. [Absently,] Ah, yes, perhaps — 

good-by. Reginald, [Reginald comes to him; 

Beau places his hand on Reginald's shoulder] 

God bless you — 
[Reginald picks up hat from table and crosses 
to door, Mariana comes down^ gives hand to 
Beau, curtsies; Beau raises hand to his lips, 
Mariana draws it away, backs toward door, 
makes another curtsy, turns to Reginald, and 
they go of gaily, apparently talking to each 
other. Beau puts hand over eyes, staggers 
hacky and leans against table for support, 

THE curtain falls 



igS BEAU BRUMMELL 

Mortimer. Yes, sir. 

Beau. I could get nothing for us to eat, 
Mortimer, nothing — and they refused to wash 
my cravats ! 

Mortimer. Oh, Mr. Brummell, sir, what shall 
we do? We will starve, sir. 

Beau. [Severely.] Mortimer, you forget your- 
self ! Who has called during my absence ? 

Mortimer. [Goes up to the window-ledge, and 
brings down an old broken plate with a few dirty 
cards.] These cards won't last much longer. I 
have been bringing him the same ones on Thurs- 
day for the last year. [Beau has fallen asleep.] 
Mr. Brummell, sir! Mr. Brummell, sir! 

[He puts plate directly in front of Beau. 

Beau. [Starts and looks at plate.] The — 
the — card tray. 

Mortimer. WeVe — lent it, sir! 



BEAU BRUMMELL 197 

Beau. I thought I saw the Prince there, 
[pointing to chair] there! The boys mocked me 
in the streets — they threw stones at me. No 
wonder ; there has been no varnish on my boots 
for days. They refused to give me a cup of 
coffee or a macaroon. They would rather see 
me starve — and starve so in rags. 

[Siis in chair, 

Mortimer. [Enters from door at Left.] Shall 
I announce dinner, sir? 

Beau. [Starting,] No, Mortimer, I have only 
just come in, and you forget this is Thursday, 
when I always entertain. [Sinks into a reverie. 

Mortimer. Poor Mr. Brummell! He's get- 
ting worse and worse. Lack of food is turning 
his head instead of his stomach. But I don't 
dare oppose him when he's this way. 

Beau. Mortimer ! 



198 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Mortimer. Yes, sir. 

Beau. I could get nothing for us to eat, 
Mortimer, nothing — and they refused to wash 
my cravats ! 

Mortimer. Oh, Mr. Brummell, sir, what shall 
we do? We will starve, sir. 

Beau. [Severely.] Mortimer, you forget your- 
r.elf ! Who has called during my absence ? 

Mortimer. [Goes up to the wifidow-ledge^ and 
brings down an old broken plate with a few dirty 
cards.] These cards won't last much longer. I 
have been bringing him the same ones on Thurs- 
day for the last year. [Beau has fallen asleep.] 
Mr. Brummell, sir! Mr. Brummell, sir! 

[He puts plate directly in front <?/Beau. 

Beau. [Starts and looks at plate.] The — 
the — card tray. 

Mortimer. We've — lent it, sirl 



BEAU BRUMMELL 199 

[He pushes cards forward with his thumb and 
finger, as Beau takes them one by one and lays 
them back on plate. 

Beau. Duchess of Leamington — thank good- 
ness, I was out. Lord Manly — do we owe him 
anything ? 

Mortimer. No, sir. 

Beau. Why not? Mrs. St. Aubyn — and I 
missed her — no matter ! They will all dine here 
this evening. 

Mortimer. [Taking plate back to ledge.] Dine 
— that's the way we eat — the names of things — 
but it is very weakening — very weakening. 

Beau. Mortimer ! 

Mortimer. Yes, sir. 

Beau. Light the candelabra. [Begins to sing 
very low in a quavering voice:] "She Wore a 
Wreath of Roses." 



200 BEAU BRUM M ELL 

Mortimer. Yes, sir. [He goes to window-ledge^ 
and brings down to table two pewter candlesticks with 
a little piece oj a candle in each one. He lights both 
and then with a quick look at Beau blows out one.] 
He'll never know, and if it burns, there will 
be none to light the next time. 

Beau. Mortimer! 

Mortimer. Yes, sir. 

Beau. Is my hat on? 

Mortimer. [Choking back a sob.] Yes, sir. 

Beau. [Lifts hat with elegant gesture; his hand 
drops and hat falls to the floor; he rises.] Morti- 
mer, I hear carriage wheels — carriage wheels! 
Observe me, Mortimer, am I quite correct ? Are 
there creases in mv cravat ? I would not wish 
to make creases the fashion. 

Mortimer. Mr. Brummell, sir, you are quite 
correct. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 201 

Beau. To your post. Bid the musicians play. 
[Bows as though welcoming guest.] Ah, Duchess, 
you are always welcome! And in pink! You 
come like the rosy morning sunshine into the 
darkness of my poor lodgings. Lord Manly! 
And sober — truth is stranger than fiction. The 
Duchess's smiles should have intoxicated you. 
Mrs. St. Aubyn — Your Majesty ! [Bows very 
low,] Pray, sir, honor my poo^- arm. Permit 
me to conduct Your Majesty to a chair, whilst I 
receive my less distinguished guests. [Walks to 
chair with imaginary guest on his arm.] My dear 
Lady Farthingale, how do you do? As beautiful 
and as charming as ever. [Backs up a little and 
knocks a chair over.] I beg ten thousand pardons ! 
My dear Lady Cecilie, how you have grown and 
how beautiful. [With vacant stare.] Shall we 
dine? Dine! Shall we dine? Permit me to 



202 BEAU BRUMMELL 

escort Your Majesty to the table where we dine ! 
[Goes to chair and escorts the imaginary king to the 
table,] Yours is the honor and mine, Lady Cedlie, 
my charming vis-d-vis, Mariana — Mariana — 
always nearest my heart — always. Mortimer 
— Mortimer ! 

Mortimer. [Who has been leaning against the 
wall with head on arm,] Yes, sir. 

Beau. His Majesty waits ! [Bows to Right and 
Left.] Enchanted! Enchanted! [Waits until, 
apparently^ they are all seated, and then sits.] I 
trust you will find these oysters agreeable ; they 
arrived but this morning from Ostend. Bird's- 
nest soup. It is very hot. I am very particular 
to have the soup hot on these cold evenings. This 
is very good melon. 

Mortimer. [Who has been pretending to pass 
things.] Melon, sir. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 203 

Beau. Duchess, I trust you are fond of ortolans 
stuffed with truffles. Brown — and glazed. My 
chef — my chef — [Voice dies away. 

Mortimer. His chef! If onlv we had some- 
thing to cook, I should not mind the chef. 

[Sinks in chair. 

Beau. Mariana, let me fill your glass, and drink 
with me. My dear. My own always. My 
only dear one ! 

[His head sinks on chest, and he falls asleep, 

Kathleen. [After a pause, putting her head 
in at the door and saying very softly:] And may I 
come in? 

Mortimer. [Rising in bewilderment,] Kath- 
leen ! And has it gone to my head, too ? 

Kathleen. [Half crying.] No, but to my heart ! 
— or to yours — for they've gotten that mixed 
I don't know which is which. [They embrace. 



204 BEAU BRUMMELL 

Mortimer. [In alarm^ fearing Beau may wake,] 
Hush! 

Kathleen. Miss Mariana that was, Mrs. 
Reginald Courtenay that is, is out in the hall, and 
him with her. 

[Mariana and Reginald conte in at door. 

Mariana. Is he here? 

[Gives a low, horrified exclamation at Beau's 
changed appearance. 

Mortimer. Yes, madam, but I fear the sud- 
den surprise of seeing you will kill him. 

Reginald. But the King is in town with his 
suite. We came with him, and they followed us 
here immediately. 

Mortimer. The King ! 

Mariana. Yes, Mortimer ; your master's and 
your troubles are over. 

[Mariana and Reginald cross to other side of 
table J away from door. 



BEAU BRUMMELL 205 

Kathleen. [Aside to Mortimer, as she goes 
up to windoiv,] I am not so sure but yours are 
just beginning. 

King. [Appearing at door.] Zounds — is 
this — 

Mortimer. [Bowing very low,] Your Majesty, 
I beg your pardon, but — sh — sh — 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. [At door.] Dear me, you 
don't — 

King. [Turning to her,] Sh — sh — 

DucBESS. But how — 

King. [Goes through same pantomime, turn- 
ing, putting finger on Up and saying :] Sh ! 

Lady Farthingale. Where is Mr. Brummell? 

King. [^4^ before,] Sh ! Sh I 

Lord Manly. Well — 

King. [As.before,] Sh! Sh! 

Mortimer. If Your Majesty will pardon me, I 



206 BEAU BRUMMELL 

think I could suggest something. Mr. Brummell 
has just been imagining you were all dining with 
him. I think if you were to take your places 
at the table, when he saw you the truth would 
gradually come to him. 

[They all sit — King at Lefty Mrs. St. Aubyn 
nexty then the Duchess. Mariana and 
Reginald are at the Right. 

Mortimer. Mr. Brummell ! [Loiidery as Beau 
does not move.] Mr. Brummell, sir! 

Beau. Duchess, let me send you this saddle of 
venison ; it's delicious. [WakeSy looks aroundy and 
sees Mariana.] Mariana! Mariana! Reginald! 
[They come to his side.] Pardon me for not 
rising ; I think I must have forgotten my manners. 
You won't leave me, Mariana ? You won't leave 
me, will you, will you? 

Mariana. No, Mr. Brummell. 



BEAU BRUM M ELL 207 

Beau. [Sees Mrs. St. Aubyn.] Mrs. St. 
Aubyn, you — you forgive ? 

Mrs. St. Aubyn. [Very gently,] And forget, 
Mr. Brummell. 

Beau. [Sees the King.] Your Majesty ! Mor- 
timer! 

Mortimer. Yes, sir. 

Beau. Is this real — is it — is it ? 

King. Yes, Beau, youVe hidden from all 
of us long enough — but now we Ve found you 
we 

to-night ; to-morrow you dine in London 
with us. 

Beau. Dine! [Drawing in his breath appre- 
ciatively.] Dine — [Then remembering.] At what 
hour? 

Mortimer. [Bowing and whispering to the 
King.] At eight. Your Majesty, at eight ! 



us long enough — but now we Ve found you 
don't mean to lose you. We sup with you 



2o8 BEAU BRUMMELL 

King. \With a nod of understanding,] At 
eight o'clock. 

Beau. Mortimer, have I any other engage- 
ment? 

Mortimer. \With fear and trembling,] No — 
oh, no, sir ! 

Beau. I shall have much pleasure. ' Mortimer! 

Mortimer. Yes, sir. 

Beau. Mortimer! 

Mortimer. Yes, sir. 

Beau. Should anybody call, say I have a very 
pressing engagement with — with — His Majesty. 

[His head falls ^ and he sinks into chair ^ supported 
by Mariana and Reginald. All rise, 

the curtain falls 



LOVERS' LANE 

A PLAY IN FOUR ACTS 



Copyright, 1915, 

By little, brown, AND COMPANY, 

AND ALICE M. FITCH. 



This play is fully protected by the copyright law, all requirements 
of which have been complied with. In its present printed form it is 
dedicated to the reading public only, and no performance of it, either 
professional or amateur, may be given without the written permission 
of the owner of the acting rights, who may be addressed in care of the 
publishers. Little, Brown, and Company. 



LOyERS' LANE 



ACT I. The Parsonage. 

ACT II. The Main Street. 

ACT III. Autumn in the Orchard. 

ACT IV. Spring in the Orchard, 



At Eddysville. 



. THE PERSONS IN THE PLAY 

The Rev. Thomas Singleton. The Minister^ graduate 

of Amherst, *86, 
Herbert Woodbridge. From New York, 
Uncle Bill. The church bell-ringer ; of the Minister's 

household, 

HosEA Brown. The storekeeper, 

Mr. Skillig. Manager of the Opera House, 

Deacon Steele. Head Deacon of the Church, 

Billy \ 

\ Eddysville boys, 
Harry J ^ 

Dick Woodbridge. 

Mary Larkin. From the Student^ League of New York, 

Mrs. Herbert Woodbridge. The Alto of the choir ; later 

of the Minister's household. 
Simplicity Johnson. From the Orphan Asylum ; of the 

Minister's household. 
Miss Mattie. The Minister's housekeeper. 
Aunt Melissy. From the poorhouse ; of the Minister's 

household, 
Bridget. The cook from the hospital; of the Minister's 

household. 



214 THE PERSONS IN THE PLAY 

Mrs. Lane. Herbert Woodbridge^s sister ^ from New York. 

Mrs. Hosea Brown. Social leader of Eddysville, 

Miss Molly Mealey. The schoolmistress, 

Mrs. Steele. Chairwoman of the Sewing Circle. 

Mrs. Jennings. The dressmaker^ with latest styles from 

Boston ; goes twice a year to the City, 
Bessie Steele. A schoolgirl. 



Produced at the Manhattan Theatre, New York, 
on February 6, 1901, with the following cast : — 

The Rev. Thomas Singleton Ernest Hastings 

Herbert Woodbridge Edward J. Radcliffe 

Uncle Bill R. L. Stockwell 

Hosea Brown Frank Hatch 

Mr. Skillig Charles W. Swain 

Deacon Steele Julian Barton 

Billy William Betts 

Harry James Coyle 

Dick Woodbridge Herbert Halliday 

Mary Larkip Nanette Comstock 

Mrs. Herbert Woodbridge Brandon Douglas 

Simplicity Johnson Millie James 

Aunt Melissy Agnes Findlay 

Mattie Sadie Stringham 

Bridget Lizzie Conway 

Mrs. Lane Rachel Sterling 

Mrs. Hosea Brown Zelda Sears 

Miss Molly Mealey Emily Wakeman 

Mrs. Steele Annie Mifflin 

Mrs. Jennings Lillian Lee 

Bessie Steele Lillian Sinnott 



ACT I 

Scene: The Minister's Study. A pleasant, 
sunny room. The Minister's desk, littered with 
interrupted work, and his chair are by the 
window J Right, Left is a ''parlor organ.^' In 
the Centre is a large round table, with a green 
wool cover, a " studenfs lamp,^^ books, a ruler, 
a vase oj garden flowers, etc. A rocking-chair, 
iwo small chairs and a low stool are beside it. 
Backy between two windows, a low bookcase. In 
front of ofte window, toward Right back, is a hair- 
cloth sofa. In the other sunny whidow is a 
green '* shelf " flower stand, filled with pots of 
geranium, fuchsia, and heliotrope, etc. Cheap, 

217 



2i8 LOVERS' LANE 

btU very clean, lace curtains are " looped back " ai 
the windows. On the walls are a few engrav- 
ings , and a faded family photograph in an oval 
gilt frame. There is an air of cheerfulness and 
comfort. Enter Miss Mattie, followed by 
Bridget, who stops j her face hidden in her apron, 
weeping, Mattie talking in a steady stream, 
Mattie. Don't answer me back, Bridget. I 
won't listen to you. Do you hear me? I have 
told you time and time again I won't have that 
child in the kitchen. For goodness' sake, where is 
she? [Calls] Simplicity! Simplicity! [Enter 
Simplicity, weeping.] Oh, here you are ! Well, 
come right along, you naughty girl! I want 
you to see what your disobedience has brought 
to others as well as yourself and — Don't break 
in while I am talking, Bridget — and put your 
apron down. [Bridget drops her apron for the 



LOVERS* LANE 219 

first time from her face and shows it distorted with 
grief] And stop making faces at me, Bridget. 

Bridget. [Crying,] I'm not making faces, 
ma'am, I'm waping. 

Mattie. Don't answer me back. Ain't you 
ashamed of yourself to let that child stay in the 
kitchen when you know she's been forbidden to 
go there? What was she doing? 

Bridget. Oh, plaze, ma'am, you'll discharge 
me if I tell you. 

Mattie. I'll discharge you if you don't. 

Bridget. Oh, well, then, ma'am, I was bakin' 
her a wee bit of cake. 

Mattie. [Coming to the front of the table — 
staggered,] What! You were, were you? Do 
you know that's stealing? Bridget O'Hara! 
And you living here under the same roof with 
Mr. Singleton ! — and Ustening to his sermons 



220 LOVERS' LANE 

every Sunday! Bridget, you take a week's 
notice. 

Bridget. Thank you, ma'am, but — 

Mattie. Stop asking me to take you back. 
Go pack your trunk and don't you let me set 
eyes on your face again as long as I live. 

[Bridget goes out. 

Bridget. [From outside] You won't let me 
get a word in edgeways. 

Mattie. [To Simplicity.] Come here ! [Sim- 
plicity comes toward her, sucking her thumb,] 
Take your thumb out of your mouth. Nice 
thing for a girl of eleven to be doing. Sucking 
your thumb ! Now ain't it ? 

Simplicity. [Backing away — guardedly,] Yes'm. 

Mattie. [Following] I said no ! 

Simplicity. Yes'm. 

Mattie. Say no. 



LOVERS' LANE 221 

Simplicity. No! 

Mattie. Ma'am! 

Simplicity. Ma'am. 

[Backing to organ and dodging behind it, 

Mattie. Land, where is your tongue? 

[Following around the table. 

Simplicity. Where my thumb was. 

Mattie. Don't you dart to be saucy to me ! 
[Simplicity keeps on dodging Miss Mattie.] Why 
don't you say something? 

Simplicity. [Stops at the table and sneaks away 
the ruler.] Ain't got nothing to say. 

Mattie. [Up in the air,] Say you're sorry. 
Ain't you sorry ? 

Simplicity. No, ma'am. [Sees her mistake. 

Mattie. What ! Very well, we'll see if we can 
make you sorry. [Pointing toward the table,] Get 
me the ruler. 



222 LOVERS' LANE 

Simplicity. 'Tain't there. 

Mattie. How do you know it ain't ? [Goes to 
the table.] Where is it? 

[Searching the table. 

Simplicity. [Keeping the rider behind her,] 
Burnt up. 

Mattie. What! 

Simplicity. To help bake the cake with. 

Mattie. You impudent child! Come here. 
[She leans on the desk-table and takes of her 
slipper.] Why ain't you sorry? 

Simplicity. [Crying.] 'Cause Pops told me to 
go to the kitchen and tell Bridget to make the 
cake. 

Mattie. My brother Tom did? 

Simplicity. Yes, ma'am. 

Mattie. Why didn't you tell me that be- 
fore? 



LOVERS' LANE 223 

Simplicity. [Crying,] 'Cause you didn't ask 
me. 

Mattie. Why didn't Bridget tell me? 

Simplicity. 'Cause you didn't give her a 
chance. [Mattie shows temper.] Bridget says the 
only way she could ever answer you back is by 
speaking first. 

Mattie. [Advancing,] Oh ! she said that, did 
she? [Drops her slipper on the table and starts 
for the door,] I was going to take her back, but 
I won't now. 

[Steps on imaginary pin. Simplicity picks up 
the slipper. 

Simplicity. Won't you? 

Mattie. [Almost at the door,] No, I won't! 

Simplicity. Won't you? 

[She hides the slipper behind her back, and 
looks out of the window. 



224 LOVERS' LANE 

Mattie. No, I won't. 

Simplicity. Won't you ? Oh, there's company 
coming ! 

Mattie. [Hopping around on one foot,] Com- 
pany? Good gracious! Where is my slipper? 

[She falls on her hands and knees, hunting under 
the table. 

Simplicity. [Dancing with glee,] If I find your 
sb'pper for you, will you take Bridget back ? 

Mattie. [On her knees, searching all around.] 
No, I won't. [Getting up,] I believe you've got 
that slipper. Have you? 

Simplicity. Yes, ma'am. 

Mattie. For the land's sake ! Give it to me at 
once. [Starting after Simplicity. 

Simplicity. [Dodging away from Mattie to the 
window,] Not unless you take Bridget back. I 
guess they're city folks. 



LOVERS' LANE 225 

Mattie. You give me that slipper, you wicked 
girl. [Running after Simplicity.] I'll tell the 
Minister, just as soon as he comes in, to punish 
you — and for fear he won't do it, I'll do it myself. 

[She chases Simplicity across the room. Enter 
Minister. 

Minister. Why Mattie! Mattie! What's 
the matter? 

Simplicity. I've been bad! 

[She throws the slipper at Mattie. 

Minister. What! Again? 

Simplicity. Yes, sir. Again ! 

Mattie. [Putting on her slipper,] You'd bet- 
ter make her learn another chapter in the Bible, 
Tom. 

Minister. My dear Mattie, if we always pun- 
ished her that way, she would soon know the 
whole Old Testament, and be tripping you and 



226 LOVERS' LANE 

me up. That's all right, Mattie. [He sUs dawn 
at the table,] I'll punish her. 

Mattie. [Comes over to him.] I'm sort of sus- 
picious of your punishments, Tom. But first I 
want to tell you about Bridget. She — is — 
so — 

Minister. [Waving her away,] Not now! 
Not now ! I must get to work on to-morrow's 
sermon. I haven't begun it yet. 

Mattie. What's the subject, Tom? 

Minister. [Thoughtfully,] " Is there an actual 
Purgatory or not ? " 

Simplicity. Course there is. [Going over to 
him.] You just ask the matron of the Asylum 
where I used to be. What she don't know about 
Purgatory ain't worth talking about. 

Mattie. [Aghast,] Why, SimpUdty! You 
don't know what you're saying. 



LOVERS' LANE • 227 

Simplicity. Don't I? Guess you'd think so if 
you'd been at the Asylum. 

Mattie. Tom, you punish that child before 
you begin. It will tone you up. 

[Goes out. 

Minister. Come here. [Turns his chair to- 
ward Simplicity.] Come here and be punished. 

Simplicity. [Going over to the Minister.] 
Pops ! I'm awful sorry. 

Minister. Then kiss me. [She kisses him.] 
There, now you're punished. What was it you 
did? 

Simplicity. Miss Mattie discharged Bridget, 
and I teased her to make her take her back ! 

Minister. Was that it? Then you may kiss 
me again, Miss. [Simplicity kisses him and sits 
down beside him.] And now say, "I'll try not to 
tease Miss Mattie any more." 



228 LOVERS' LANE 

Simplicity. IVe said it once before, to-day, 
Pops, but it don't seem to do much good. 

Minister. I guess it does as much good as 
learning a chapter in the Bible, and you can say it 
quicker. Come on now. 

Simplicity. I'll try not to tease Miss Mattie 
any more. 

Minister. And try hard ! You try hard ! 

Simplicity. Pops, is Miss Mattie really your 
sister ? 

Minister. No. 

Simplicity. Then what is she? 

[Sprawling on table. 

Minister. She is my brother-in-law's second 
wife's step- sister. 

Simplicity. [Confused.] Oh — 

[Rises; goes all around the table, looking under 
the edge for chewing-gum. 



LOVERS' LANE 229 

Minister. Yes, and she doesn't get on with her 
step-sister, my brother-in-law's second wife, so 
that she hasn't any other home, and lives here 
with me. Now I must get to work on my sermon. 

Simplicity. [Back of Minister, with her arms 
around his neck.] Then you've just given her a 
home, as you've taken in Aunt Meh'ssy and Uncle 
Bill and me. Pops? 

Minister. She says it's you and Uncle Bill 
and Aunt Melissy who've taken me in. There ! 
There! I must get to work! [Starts to write, 
Simplicity looking over his shoulder.] I don't 
believe there's a Purgatory, Simple. 

Simplicity. Don't you, Pops? [Glancing 
around, as if looking for Miss Mattie.] Then 
where will Miss Mattie go when she dies ? 

Minister. Simplicity 1 Now you stop — stop 
— or I'll punish you again. I must get to work 1 



230 LOVERS' LANE 

[Enter Bridget, sniffling. 
Bridget. If you plaze, sorr, — 
Minister. What is it, Bridget? 
Bridget. [Sniffling,] If you plaze, sorr, a 
Committee from the Chou: 's -outside in the hall 

waitin' to see you. 

Minister. I'm very busy just now, but you can 
show them in, Bridget. 
Bridget. Yes, sorr. 

[Goes out. 
Minister. We must do something for that 
asthma of Bridget's. 

Simplicity. 'Tain't asthma — it's feeUngs — 
'cause Miss Mattie discharged her. Guess 
Bridget believes there's a Hell. 

[Bridget comes back, showing in Committee. 
Bridget. Come right into the study, plaze — 

[Sniffling. 



LOVERS' LANE 231 

[Enter Mrs. Brown and Miss Mealey. 
Bridget goes out. 

Mrs. Brown. Good morning, Dr. Singleton ! 
[Goes over to the organ and sits on the stool. 

Miss Mealey. Good morning I 

Simplicity. Hello! 

[She sits on a low stool on the other side of the 
table so that it hides her from the others. 

Minister. [Rising.] Good morning. Won't 
you sit down? Won't you sit down — [As Miss 
Mealey passes him.] Your new hat's very be- 
coming, Miss Molly. 

Miss Mealey. [Sits in the easy chair.] Thanks. 
But it seems to me as if you never noticed what 
I had on. 

Minister. On the contrary. Miss Molly, every- 
thing! 

Mrs. Brown. Good gracious ! 



232 LOVERS' LANE 

Miss Mealey. XTo Mrs. Brown.] I think, 
my dear, we had better speak at once of the 
matter that brought us. 

Mrs. Brown. Yes. I suppose, Minister, we 
are keeping you from finishing to-morrow's ser- 
mon ? 

Minister. [Coming up between the ladies; 
smiling,] No — from beginning it. 

Miss Mealey. What is the subject? 

Minister. "Is there an actual Purgatory or 
not?" 

Miss Mealey. S-w-ee-t! 

Mrs. Brown. Well, I hope there isn't, for 
my husband's sake! But [rising what weVe 
come for is — [Notices Simplicity.] — Oh — 
[Whispering to Minister.] Please send that child 
out. 

Minister. Oh, yes. Simple ! 



LOVERS' LANE 233 

Simplicity. Pops! 

Minister. You go out for a little while. 

Simplicity. What for? 

Minister. For fun. [Simplicity goes out. 
Turning to the Committee.] Is it anything seri- 
ous? 

Miss Mealey. Very ! Mrs. Woodbridge — 
our — 

Mrs. Brown. [Interrupting,] Our soprana, 
turns out to be a reg — 

Miss Mealey. [Rises — interrupting,] Per- 
fect snake in the grass. Of course we all know 
she had set her cap for you. 

Minister. Oh, come now, Miss Molly. 

Mrs. Brown. [In a loud whisper to Miss 
Mealey.] Don't be a fool, Molly Mealey — 
show him your jealousy that way! Of course 
Molly has had to put up with her city clothes and 



234 LOVERS' LANE 

weVe had to put up with her city airs, and now 
it's got to end. 

Minister. Why, I thought everyone loved 
Mrs. Woodbridge. 

Miss Mealey. Oh, all the men do. 

Mrs. Brown. You must discharge her from 
the choir. 

Minister. I! Why, I couldn't do such a 
thing, and I wouldn't. Why, she hasn't a cent 
in the world, except her salary, to support herself 
and her poor little lame boy. 

Miss Mealey. {Rising and going up to him,] 
Well, if you don't discharge her, we will ! 

Minister. No! What has she done? 

Mrs. Brown. She's divorced from her hus- 
band I That's what she's done 1 

Miss Mealey A divorcee/ 

Minister. Well, maybe her husband wasn't 
all that he should be. 



LOVERS' LANE 235 

Miss Mealey. Humph! More likely she 
wasn't. They say she was an actress I 

Mrs. Brown. Sung and danced in one of the 
cantintuU performances ! 

Minister. I'd like to have seen her. 

[Miss Mealey and Mrs. Brown are as- 
tounded. 

Miss Mealey and Mrs. Brown. What 1 

Mrs. Brown. If she remains in the choir / 
resign now, 

[Hitting a book on the table with a bang. 

Miss Mealey. There goes the mezzer sopra- 
ner, and the whole choir has agreed to do the 
same thing. 

Minister. But, Mrs. Brown, you know what a 
splendid young woman she is. She lives with 
you! 

Mrs. Brown. Oh, no, she doesn't. [To Min- 
ister.] I have a family of boys to bring vp. 



236 LOVERS* LANE 

Besides, I have always suspected Brown was a little 
too polite to her. She's packing her trunks now. 

Minister. Really, ladies, you take my breath 
away. 

Mrs. Brown. Well, she took our'n. [Both go 
to the Minister.] Now which is it? If we go, 
the organist goes with us. Mrs. Canning says all 
the wealth of the Indies couldn't make her play 
accompaniments for a divorced voice. 

Miss Mealey. If she sings — remember. 

Mrs. Brown and Miss Mealey. We don't! 
[Going to the door,] Good morning 1 

Minister. If you're going home now, yX)u 
might send her over to me — will you ? 

Mrs. Brown. I'll go straight home, and she 
can come here before looking for new rooms. 

Miss Mealey. [At the door,] Don't be afraid 
of hurting her feelings. 



LOVERS* LANE 237 

Minister. No. 

Mrs. Brown. We haven't been. 

Minister. So I imagine. Good-by 1 

Mrs. Brown. Good-by. [Goes out. 

Minister. Good-by, Miss Molly. 

Miss Mealey. Good-by. [Giggling, starts to 
go, turns, and runs to the Minister, unwrapping 
large slippers and thrusting them into his hands, 
saying:] For you — [Giggles,] For you! [Giggles 
until she is out of the door. 

Minister. Well, now we must fix this somehow 
for poor Mrs. Woodbridge. How can anyone be 
angry at Molly Mealey ! [Looking at the slippers, 
he lays them on the table,] Pleasant change from 
wristlets ! They'll fit Uncle Bill. [Going toward 
the door, he calls,] Mattie! Gracious! I must 
get to work. [He sits down once more at his 
table. 



238 LOVERS' LANE 

[Enter Uncle Bill and Aunt Melissy. Me- 
LissY sits on stool. 

Uncle Bill. Good day, Doctor. 

Minister. Hello, Uncle Bill! Been for a 
walk? 

Uncle Bill. Yes, sir. Me and Melissy 
been for a stroll. Come along. [To Aunt 
Melissy.1 The Minister's here and he can de- 
cide for us. 

[Aunt Melissy says "H-a-y-e?" Uncle Bill 
repeats. 

Minister. [Raising his voice.] Well, Aunt 
Melissy, you and Uncle Bill haven't been having 
another argument, have you ? 

Aunt Melissy. Yes, we have. Minister. I say 
there's no such thing as love at first sight, and Mr. 
William says there is. 

Uncle Bill. I tell Melissy the very first time 



LOVERS' LANE 239 

I sot eyes on her I felt Cupid takin' aim with his 
arrow right here. 

[Putting his hand on his heart. 

Aunt Melissy. [Interrupting.] I didn't think, 
Minister, when you asked me to come and live with 
you, I was going to have the end of my days made 
miserable by the same questions that turned their 
beginning topsy-turvy. 

Uncle Bill. That ain't the p'int — that ain't 
the p'int. The p'int is, is there such a thing as 
love at first sight? 

[Both going to the Minister ; Minister scratches 
his head. Mattie enters. 

Mattie. Now look here. Aunt Melissy and 
Uncle Bill, you mustn't interrupt the Minister. 
He's at work on to-morrow's sermon. [She 
hurries them of.] Tom, what do you think? 
Mrs. White has twins. 



240 LOVERS' LANE 

Minister. Twins? 

Mattie. I never did have any patience with 
that woman I 

Minister. Which are they? 

Mattie. Girls — both girls ! Where will they 
ever get husbands in this town ? 

[Goes out Right. Bridget comes in Left, 

9 

Bridget. If you plaze, sorr — [sniffling] — 
the lady with a voice like a flute is askin' to see 
you. 

Minister. [Rises,] Oh, Mrs. Woodbridge ! 

Bridget. Yes, sorr. 

[Sniffling. 

Minister. [Absent-mindedly,] Got the 

asthma, Bridget? 

Bridget. No, sorr, IVe got me notice. 

Minister. [Absent-mindedly.] Have you taken 
anything for it ? 



LOVERS' LANE 241 

Bridget. Sure, it's me lave IVe got to take. 

Minister. Oh, that's it, is it? Simple told 
me. Come here, Bridget. Don't you go! Miss 
Mattie will be sure to come around all right to- 
morrow. You leave her to me. 

Bridget. To you, sorr? Oh, the Lord bless 
you, sorr — it would break me heart to lave you, 
so it would. But what about Mrs. Woodbridge, 
sorr? 

Minister. By Jupiter ! I forgot all about her. 
Bring her right in ! 

[Bridget starts to go out; meets Mrs. Wood- 
bridge coming in, 

Bridget. Sure, here is the lady herself. 

[Goes out, 

Mrs. Woodbridge. Good morning. Doctor. 

Minister. Won't you sit down ? 

[Indicates chair by the table. 



242 LOVERS' LANE 

Mrs. Woodbridge. Mrs. Brown has told you, 
Doctor? 

Minister. [Sitting on the organ bench.] Yes, 
and I want to talk over with you the best way to 
fix it. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. First, I want to tell you 
how it was I came here two years ago. I wanted 
to leave the city, where all the associations were 
most painful, and, besides, I thought my little boy 
might be stronger in the country. My husband 
— I had better be quite frank with you — my 
husband soon after our marriage began to drink 
heavily — then he lost all his money on the horses 
and — what little I had — [Rises.] Did I do 
wrong to leave him? 

Minister. [Rising and coming to Mrs. Wood- 
bridge.] Could you have helped him by holding 
on to him, I wonder? 



LOVERS' LANE 243 

Mrs. Woodbridge. \WUh averted face.] That's 
what I sometimes ask myself — when the old 
love for my ideal of him comes back with over- 
whelming force. 

Minister. Ah, well! Each one's heart and 
mind is the best court for them to appeal to. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. I thought I ought at any 
rate to take the boy away before he grew old 
enough to understand. He has been baptized in 
sorrow, and I want his life to be confirmed with 
joy somewhere, or somehow — 

Minister. But he's so much better and 
brighter already. 

\ Mrs. Woodbridge. [Joyfully.] Oh, do you 
think so? Well, that's my story, except when I 
came here I never lied. I said I had no husband 
— I didn't think it necessary to explain more. 
But of course when I was asked whether I was a 



244 LOVERS' LANE 

widow or divorced, to-day, there was nothing to 
do but to speak the truth, which I did. 

Minister. [Takes a chair near Mrs. Wood- 
bridge.] I'm afraid you weren't prepared to find 
such good people as they are here. Really, you 
know, so narrow. Were you? [Moving towards 
her.] But I'm stretching them all I can. 

Mrs. Woodbridge, And perhaps I can be of 
some use as a wedge ? 

Minister. Well — to go back to the choir — 

Mrs. Woodbridge. I'd resign in a minute if it 
wasn't for Dick. I want to make money enough 
to have him treated. Little lame backs are 
made whole now-a-days, you know, without 
miracles. 

Minister. I know — I was thinking of that 
the other day, but I believe it will be best to have 
you resign now, anyway, and let the congregation 



LOVERS' LANE 245 

hear Miss Mealey sing a solo again. We won't 
need much more to get them all on our side. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. [Rising, puts out her hand,] 
How encouraging you are ! Meanwhile, I shall 
have to find some other place for Dick and me to 
live in. 

Minister. [Rises and takes her hand,] That'll 
be easy enough. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. So I thought, but on my 
way here, three ladies with empty third-floors told 
me they hadn't any rooms. 

Minister. Well, I'll tell you what — you and 
Dick come here and live with us. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. Here? Oh, no! We 
couldn't do that. 

Minister. Why not? Miss Mattie'U make it 
all right. Come now, get Dick and your tnmk, 
and stay. 



246 LOVERS' LANE 

Mrs. Woodbridge. But are you sure youVe 
room? 

Minister. Oh, yes, yes — plenty of room. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. But you have so many 
people here now. 

Minister. Why, no we haven't — no one at 
all. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. There's Miss Mattie and 
Simplicity — I know them — 

Minister. [In thought.] Oh yes, and Unde 
Bill and Aimt Melissy, but that's all. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. Aunt Melissy? Perhaps 
she won't like me. 

Minister. Oh, yes she will, and you'll like her, 
too. She's a nice old person, a real lady. Lost 
all her money in a bank that shut up suddenly, 
and has a perfect horror of dying in the poorhouse, 
so I told her to come and die here. 



LOVERS' LANE 247 

Mrs. Woodbridge. And did she? 

Minister. Yes, that is, she came here, but I 
am glad to say she hasn't died yet. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. And who's Uncle Bill? 

Minister. Why, you know Uncle Bill Walters ? 

Mrs. Woodbridge. Oh, the old man who rings 
the church bell? 

Minister. Yes. He was living alone and had 
to do his own cooking — couldn't make enough 
money to pay a servant. So I told him just to 
come and live with us, and let us be company for 
him. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. [Turns to him.] How 
good of you ! 

Minister. Why, no — he's a splendid char- 
acter. I consider it a privilege to have him — 
he's sweet on Aunt Melissy. You mustn't cut 
her out now, will you? 



248 LOVERS' LANE 

Mrs. Woodbridge. [Laughing.] No, 111 try 

not. 

Minister. And don't mind Miss Mattie if she 

« 

is a little cantankerous at first. She always does 
that when any woman comes to the house. It 
will take about seven days for her to find out that 
you don't want to marry me. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. Maybe Miss Mattie won't 
like me on account of my trouble. 

Minister. Oh, dear no. Mattie's the broadest 
minded, most generous creature in the world. 

Mattie. [Outside, Yells,] T-o-m! 

Minister. That's Mattie now. [Mrs. Wood- 
bridge starts toward the door, frightened,] Wait a 
minute. I'll tell Mattie. She'll be so pleased. 
[Calls,] Mattie ! 

Mattie. [Entering; rather shortly,] What is it, 
Tom? Oh! Good morning, Mrs. Woodbridge. 



LOVERS' LANE 249 

Mrs. WooDBRiDGE. Good morning, Miss 
Mattie. 
Minister. [Timidly, from behind the desk,] 

m 

Mattie, Mrs. Woodbridge is coming to live with 
us. 

Mattie. [Astounded,] What! 

Mrs. Woodbridge. Dr. Singleton has asked 
me to, but I have told him I don't think I ought 
to accept his kind oflFer. 

Minister. We'll feel rather hurt if she doesn't 
— now, won't we, Mattie? 

Mattie. [Aside to the Minister.,] When is she 
coming ? 

Minister. This evening. 

Mattie. This evening ! 

[Disgusted. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. Perhaps it will inconven- 
ience you to have Dick and me here ! 



2SO LOVERS' LANE 

Mattie. Oh, I suppose I can stand it if the 
Minister can. 

Minister. [To Mrs. Woodbridge.] There, I 
told you Mattie would be pleased. You mustn't 
mind Mattie's ways. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. But perhaps you'd rather 
I didn't come this evening. Miss Mattie? 

Mattie. Well, I must own — 
[Mrs. Woodbridge walks over to the window. 

Minister. [To Mattie, interrupting.] That 
you'd be disappointed if she didn't — eh, Mattie? 

\Winks at Mattie. 

Mattie. [Hesitating,] No, Tom, that wasn't 
what I was going to say, but I suppose it's none 
of my business. 

[Turning to bookcase and arranging hooks. Goes 
out. 

Minister. [To Mrs. Woodbridge.] Now, you 



LOVERS' LANE 251 

stay right here, and 111 send Uncle Bill after Dick 
and your trunk. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. Do you think I'd better? 

Minister. Yes. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. Well, thank you ever so 
much. I'll tell Uncle Bill. You needn't trouble 
— he's on the porch. 

[Goes out; the Minister starts to follow, 

Mattie. [Coming back.] Now, brother Tom, I 
would just like to know where you are going to put 
her ! I suppose you want me to give up my room ! 

Minister. [Turning back to Mattie,] Why, no, 
Mattie. She's to have mine. 

Mattie. Yours? Then where will you sleep? 

Minister. Here. I shall do nicely. 

Mattie. Here! 

Minister. Yes. [Looking around, points to 
the lounge,] On the lounge. 



252 LOVERS' LANE 

Mattie. You sleep on that lounge? What'll 
you do with your feet ? 

Minister. [Laughing,] Hang 'em over the 
end, and then all the blood will rush out of my 
head, and then I shall sleep splendidly. 

[Mrs. Woodbridge re enters, saying: 

Mrs. Woodbridge. Thank you, Mr. Walters, 
very much. 

Minister. Mattie was just saying your room 
would want a little arranging for you. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. [Taking Mattie's arm,] 
She must let me help her. [To Mattie.] Yes, 
Miss Mattie, I insist. Show me where it is. 

Mattie. It's the room over the front porch. 

Minister. Why no, Mattie, it's the room over 
the parlor. 

Mattie. [Goes up to the desk, sharply^ Now, 
brother Tom, I think I am the one who takes 



LOVERS' LANE 253 

care of this house, and I say it's the room over 
the front porch. 

[Mattee and Mrs. Woodbridge go out together. 

Minister. Now, that's too bad. It's just like 
Mattie — so unselfish — going to give up her own 
room! Well, there's no use arguing with her. 
Mattie's bound to have her own way, and I must 
get to work on my sermon. 

[He sits down at his desk once more, 

[Enter Bridget, with her hair done up in curl- 
papers. 

Bridget. If you plaze, sorr, there is such a nice 
young couple in the hall that wants to get married. 

Minister. [Writing.] Actual Purgatory. 

Bridget. [Astounded y coming down.] What, sorr? 

Minister. [Thoughtfully.] Bridget, do you 
believe in Purgatory? 



254 LOVERS' LANE 

Bridget. I believe in wedlock, sorr. 

Minister. But that hasn't anything to do 
with my text — with what I was writing. 

Bridget. Oh, St. Patrick! [Laughing.] I 
thought you was referring to the marriage state. 
I axes your pardon. There's a young couple out 
in the hall on the edge of matrimony, who are 
wantin' you to give them a wee bit of a.push over. 

Minister. Well, send them in, Bridget, and 
tell them they must be married quickly or, no — 
I mean they must — but don't tell them, — be- 
cause I really have got to work on my sermon. 

Bridget. Sure. She's a darlin' bit of a wife. 
[Showing them in at the door.] This way, if you 
plaze. 

[Enter Herbert Woodbridge, followed by 
Mary Larkin. Bridget goes out. Mary 
remains at the back. 



LOVERS' LANE 255 

Herbert. [Comingforward to Minister.] You 
are Dr. Singleton ? 

Minister. [Rising.] I am — and you ? — 

Herbert. My name is Woodbridge, and — 

Mary. [Comingforward.] I am Mary Larkin, 
and we wish to be — 

Herbert. [Going over to Mary.] Married. 

Mary. [Unbuttoning her left glove.] Will you 
marry us? 

Minister. Yes. I will be very glad to. How 
old are you, Mr. Woodbridge? 

Herbert. Thirty, sir. 

Minister. [To Mary.] And you? 

Mary. Eighteen, sir. 

[Turns to Herbert. Mary takes off the glove 
from her left hand and places it on the table. 

Minister. Eighteen? Isn't she pretty. [Forget- 
ting himself.] Isn't she pretty — isn't she pretty — 



2s6 LOVERS* LANE 

Mary. [Turning,] What — sir? 

Minister. [Starts,] Oh — er — I said eight- 
een was pretty young to many, don't you think 
so? 

Mary. Oh, no, sir. And then Herbert — I 
mean Mr. Woodbridge — is enough older to make 
up any way. 

Minister. Where do you live? 

Mary. My home is really in East Eddysville 
— seven miles away from here. We've just 
driven over. I met Mr. Woodbridge in New 
York, where I went last winter to study Art at 
the League. 

Minister. [To Herbert.] You are a New 
Yorker? So am I! 

Herbert. Yes, sir. Oh — don't let us keep 
you standing ! 

Minister. [Absent-mindedly,] No — no — 



LOVERS' LANE 257 

excuse me. Let's all sit down. [The Minister 
gives Mary a chair. Then both men sit down.] 
You aren't in any hurry, are you? 

Herbert. Well — 

Mary. [Interrupting] Oh, no, not in the least. 

Minister. [Moving nearer to Mary.] That's 
good. We can take plenty of time, and talk it all 
over. 

Herbert. I don't think there is anything to 
say, sir, except what the marriage service requires. 

Mary. You don't -know me, sir, but I know 
you very well. I often come here to visit a school 
friend of mine — Molly Mealey — who teaches 
here. 

Herbert. But that's not the point. 

Minister. Well, let me see — you are neither 
of you married already? 

Mary. [Smiling] No, sir. 



2S8 LOVERS* LANE 

Herbert. [Gravely.] No, sir. 

Minister. [To Mary.] But why are you not 
married at your own home? 

Mary. I am not happy there — my mother 
has married a second time, and that's how I came 
to go to New York and — 

Minister. [Interrupting,] I should think 
they'd miss you awfully. [Turning to Herbert.] 
But that's your gain, isn't it ? [Rising and retutn- 
ing the chair to the desk, he goes over to the bookcase] 
I always use the Episcopal service. [He takes up a 
prayer-book from bookcase] Are you to be mar- 
ried with a ring? 

Mary. Oh, yes. Of course, sir — 

Herbert. [Risingfrom the organ bench.] Mary, 
I forgot the ring. 

Mary. Herbert! Then we can't be married 
to-day I 



LOVERS' LANE 259 

Minister. And that would disappoint you 
very much, wouldn't it ? 

[He lays the prayer-hook on the table, 

Mary. Yes, sir, but after all we could do with- 
out the ring, though — [smiling at Herbert] 
I shan't feel quite altogether married, Herbert. 

[Minister stands in deep thought, twisting a ring 
on his finger, 

Mary. [Crosses to Herbert.] Why? What 
is he doing? 

Herbert. I don't know. He's a funny old 
Johnnie, isn't he? 

Mary. No, I think he is a dear man ! 

Herbert. Well, I wish he'd brace up and 
marry us. I — I — I beg your pardon. 

Minister. [Absent-mindedly,] I beg your par- 
don. I've got a ring. Will you let me give it to 
you for a wedding present? It was my sister's 



26o LOVERS* LANE 

wedding ring once. She said for me to use it, but 
I'll never get married. The townspeople here 
tease me, you know — they say my little church 
is my sweetheart, and they call the road that leads 
to it from our orchard, ** Lovers' Lane." 

Mary. \Who is standing between the Minister 
and Herbert.] Oh, but do you want to part 
with it? 

Minister. Yes, I would like it to be your wed- 
ding ring. [She takes the ring,] Now, we must 
have a couple of witnesses. 

Mary. Oh, Herbert dear. [Turning to Her- 
bert.] We didn't bring any witnesses either. 

Minister. [Going to the door,] Oh, I've got 
plenty of witnesses — house full of witnesses. [He 
calls,] Mattie ! Mattie ! 

Mattie. [Calling back to him,] Now, what is 
it, Tom? 



LOVERS' LANE 261 

Minister. I want you. 

Mattie. [StUl calling,] Go on with yoxir ser- 
mon — I'm busy ! 

Minister. I want you to be a witness. 

Mattie. For the land's sake ! Witness to 
what? 

Minister. A marriage. 

Mattie. [Impatiently, still calling.] I'm too 
busy. I've got no time for such nonsense. Call 
Bridget, and I'll send down Mrs. Woodbridge. 

Minister. [Calling.] Bridget! 

[Taking up the prayer-book again. 

Herbert. [Starts slightly to himself.] Mrs. 
Woodbridge ! 

Mary. Woodbridge — our name! Isn't that 
funny ! 

Minister. That ought to bring you luck. 
Will you stand there? 



262 LOVERS' LANE 

[They stand together as Mrs. Woodbridge comes 
in, 

Mrs. Woodbridge. You sent for me, Dr. 
Singleton? 

Minister. Yes. Mrs. Woodbridge, I want 
you to witness a marriage between Miss Larkin 
and Mr. — 

[Mrs. Woodbridge starts as she sees Herbert. 

Herbert. Lucy! 

Mrs. Woodbridge. Was it to witness a mar- 
riage between these two people that you called 
me. Dr. Singleton? 

Minister. Yes. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. I cannot do it. 

Minister. [Kindly.] Tell us why not. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. Ask him who is the father 
of my poor little boy. 

Herbert. Yes, we were once married, she and I. 



LOVERS' LANE 263 

Mary. [Jo Herbert.] What do you mean? 

Minister. [To Mary.] He was once her hus- 
band, but they are divorced now. 

Mary. [To Minister.] But he never told me 
he had been married. Herbert, you never said 
you were — 

Herbert. [Interrupting,] I didn't want you 
to know. 

Mary. But it was a lie — you told me a lie — 
you told me a lie ! 

Mrs. Woodbridge. [To Minister.] Don't let 
him ruin her poor young life if you can prevent it. 

[Mrs. Woodbridge leaves the room; they watch 
her go. The Minister stands motionless, A 
pause, 

Herbert. [Impatiently,] Well? 

Minister. I cannot marry you — you must 
go to someone else. 



264 LOVERS' LANE 

Herbert. Why? Because I am divorced? 

Minister. No, because I don't think you will 
make Miss Larkin happy. 

Herbert. You are not the best judge of that. 

Minister. [To Mary.] Do you still wish to 
marry him? 

Mary. I don't know, sir ! 

Herbert. [Scornjully, turning to Mary.] 
Because I have been divorced, you are going to 
throw me over ? 

Mary. No. Because you told me a lie ! 

Herbert. Then you don't love me? 

Mary. Oh — Herbert! [r«r»iwg /o Herbert ; 
then to Minister.] Yes, I do still want to marry 
him. 

Minister. Then you must get someone else 
to perform the service for you. 

Herbert. Very well, sir, I am sorry to have 



LOVERS* LANE 265 

had to put you to this trouble. Good afternoon. 
[He goes toward the door.] Come, Mary! 

[He waits at the door. 

Mary. [Starting to follow,] Good-by, sir I 

Minister. Good-by. 

[He stands in deep study at his desk, Mary, 
remembering the ring, goes up to the Minister. 

Mary. Oh, Herbert! His ring! [r(7 Minister.] 
Dr. Singleton, forgive me, I forgot your ring. 

Minister. I hope you know. Miss Larkin, 
that I would be pleased to marry you if I could 
feel he would make you happy as you deserve. 

Mary. Thank you, sir. -r- Your ring ! 

Minister. Do they know at home what you 
are doing? 

Mary. No, sir, but they wouldn't care. 

Minister. Then why not go home to-night and 
think it over? 



266 LOVERS' LANE 

Herbert. [At door, impatiently.] Mary! It's 
getting late. I'll go and get the horse. 

[Goes out. 

Mary. Thank you, sir, — you don't know 
how much he loves me — But your ring? 

Minister. No, take it just the same — I am 
sorry not to be the one to put it on, but if you 
are determined to marry him, take it, and use 
it just the same. I want it to be your wedding 
ring. [Herbert calls "Mary." 

Mary. Thank you, sir. I must go. 

[She starts to go, but meets Uncle Bill carrying 
Dick. 

Uncle Bill. Here we are. Doctor — come in 

the back way. How d'ye do, Miss? 

* 

Mary. How do you do? Oh, you poor, dear 
little fellow. [She kisses Dick.] What's your 
name? 



LOVERS' LANE 267 

Uncle Bill. Woodbridge. Dick Woodbridge, 
Esq. [Mary starts.] Now, you must hurry up 
and grow up, and some day you can marry a 
pretty lady like that. 

[Uncle Bill goes to bay window and plays with 

Dick, who has a picture book. 
Mary. [To Minister.] His boy ! His boy ! 
Doctor Singleton — I shall go home to-night ! 
[She hurries from the room. The Minister 
pauses and thinks. He sees her glove on the 
table. He picks it up and lays it on his desk. 
Simplicity comes in. 
Simplicity. Pops ! Thinkin' of your sermon ? 
Minister. No, Simple, I wasn't, though I 
ought to have been. I don't believe there's a 
Purgatory, Simple. 

Simplicity. I do. Pops. I've torn my dress 
again. [She looks for tear, bid canH find it. 



268 LOVERS' LANE 

Minister. Dear me! Where? 

Simplicity. There ! [Finding a big tear.] Pin 
it up for me, will you, Pops? 

[The Minister kneels and pins it together. 

Minister. How did you doit? 

Simplicity. Guess. 

Minister. Climbing apple trees ? 

Simplicity. Ugh-huh ! [Laughs. Picking up 
Mary's glove from the desk,] Whose glove is 
this? 

Minister. [Rising and taking the glove from 
her.] Mine ! 

Simplicity. Yours? 

Minister. Yes! I got it in exchange for a 
ring. 

THE curtain falls 



ACT n 

Scene : The schoolkouse corner. Opposite is the 
country store. Through a window the post office 
is seen. It is recess time, and all the children are 
playing. Six or eight girls in a circle are shout- 
ing "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight 
— all around the other way." They join hands 
and dance around in a circle. A group of hoys 
playing leap-frog with Simplicity. Two small 
hoys and one girl playing horse, with the smaUesi 
hoy for the horse. The girl is driving. The 
teacher rings the school bell. Simplicity hides 
behind two fighting boys (Billy and Harry). 
Mr. Brown, who keeps the store, is on the porch, 
smoking and reading. Dick is sitting on the 

269 



270 LOVERS' LANE 

school steps, looking on. Mary Larkin sits 

beside him. Miss Mealey comes from the 

schoolhousCf ringing the bell. The children stop 

playing. 

Miss Mealey. Where's Simplicity? 

All the Girls. What? 

Miss Mealey. Simplicity. 

Bessie Steele. [With girls — searching among 
the girls, calls.] Simplicity ! Simplicity ! Oh, 
she must be with the boys. 

Miss Mealey. What, playing with the boys 
again, when I Ve expressly forbidden her ! Sim- 
plicity ! [There is a dead silence. Simplicity is 
hiding behind the boys.] Simplicity, are you 
there? 

Simplicity. [Still hiding.] No, ma'am. 

[All the children laugh. 

Miss Mealey. Come out this minute ! 



LOVERS' LANE 271 

Billy. She ain't here. That was me making 
believe. 

Miss Mealey. I know better. Come here, 
Simplicity ! 

Billy. [To Simplicity.] Don't you do it. 

Miss Mealey. Billy Brown, you stay fifteen 
minutes after school. 

Billy. I don't care. She ain't here ! 

[Going to Miss Mealey. 

Miss Mealey. Now you'll stay half an hour 
after. Simplicity! 

Simplicity. I'm coming. [Pushes her way be- 
tween the two boys J giving Billy a half-eaten apple.] 
Here, Billy. You take my apple. I'm sorry 
you've got to stay in. 

Miss Mealey. Haven't I told you you'd be 
punished if you didn't stop being such a tom- 
boy? You'll get the ruler. Miss. 



272 LOVERS' LANE 

Mary. [From the school steps,] Oh, please 
don't punish her, Molly. She doesn't mean any 
harm. 

[Molly and Mary talk. 
Billy. It's your fault, Harry Jenkins, for not 
hiding her enough. I've got a good mind to — 
Harry. Aw — why don't you do it? Here, 
knock the chip off me shoulder — I dare you ! 
[The two hoys fight. Simplicity grabs Billy, 
while Mary Larkin and the litUe girls take 
charge of Harry. 
Mary. Boys ! Boys ! Now, come, this won't 
do any good. Simplicity, you go into the school 
now, and tell Miss Mealey you are sorry, and 
maybe she'll forgive you. 

Simplicity. I'm always sajring I'm sorry — 
I'm getting tired. 
Mary. Come along. 

[Simplicity walks toward the schoolhouse. 



LOVERS' LANE 273 

Billy. Miss Mealey, if you want to lick any- 
one, lick me — I don't mind. 

Miss Mealey. No! I'm not going to whip 
anybody to-day. [All the children shout for joy.] 
But Simple must study her spelling the rest of the 
recess. 

[Miss Mealey pushes Simplicity into the 
schoolhouse and shuts the door. 

Billy. The boys don't mind her lickin'. She 
don't hurt anybody. 

Mary. Billy, will you take Dick Woodbridge 
home? He doesn't feel well. 

Billy. Yes, ma'am, in just a minute. [He 
takes from his pocket the apple which Simplicity 
has given him^ looks at it, and carefully places it in 
another pocket. Mary helps Dick on Billy's 
hack.] Come along, Dick. Get on my back. 

Mary. There ! That's splendid — thank you, 
Billy. 



274 LOVERS' LANE 

Billy. Dick, now you pretend I'm a runaway 
horse and you can't stop me. 

[He gallops of stage, all the children following 
and shouting after him, "Runaway horse — 
stop him," etc, 
Mary. Come along. Now, children, let's play 
London Bridge ! 

Harry. Aw — I don't want to play no girl's 
game ! 

Bessie Steele. Ain't he mean? Well, we 
don't want you anyway, Harry Jennings ! 

All the Girls. No, we wouldn't play with 
you anjrway, Harry Jennings ! 

Harry. [Looking down the street,] Here comes 
the Minister. Hooray ! Hooray ! 

[All the children run to meet the Minister. He 
comes in, surrounded by children, who continue 
shouting. 



LOVERS' LANE 275 

Minister. What a flock of birds! Good 
morning, Miss Larkin. I'm being mobbed. 

Bessie Steele. Let's play London Bridge is 
Falling Down, with the Minister and Miss Larkin. 

All the Children. Yes! Hurrah! The 
Minister and Miss Larkin ! 

Minister. Will you? 

Mary. Yes, indeed. 

[They join hands , holding them up to make the 
bridge, and the children form in twos and 
pass under, singing : 

"London Bridge is falling down, falling down, 
falling down, London Bridge is falling down, my 
fair Lady. Take some bricks and build it up, 
build it up, build it up, Take some bricks and 
build it up, my fair Lady. Take the key and 
lock her up, lock her up, lock her up. Then take 
the key and lock her up, my fair Lady." 



276 LOVERS' LANE 

[Miss Mealey enters, ringing recess bell to bring 
the children back to the schoolhouse. Then, as 
if looking for some truant, she sees the Minister 
at^ Mary holding hands, 

m 

Miss Mealey. [Going up to the Minister while 
Mary joins the children,] Well, when you two 
are through holding hands, perhaps you'll let 
school go on ! 

Minister. I came around to see how the sing- 
ing was getting along, Miss Molly. [To Mary.] 
We're getting up an Old Folks Concert with the 
children, to build a wing to the schoolhouse. 

Mary. I heard about it, but thought it was 
to be Mrs. Jarley's waxworks ? 

Minister. So it was, but some of the church 
ladies said that would be too much like a theat- 
rical performance. 

Miss Mealey. Yes, indeed, there's some of us 



LOVERS' LANE 277 

as don't care to demean ourselves, though I 
don't doubt Mrs. Woodbridge was willing ! 

Minister. I wanted the waxworks. Thought 
there'd be more fun, but it's to be a children's 
Old Folks Concert, and I hope they've learned 
their old tunes. 

Miss Mealey. They may not sing as well as 
your choir. 

Minister. Look out. Miss Molly ! Mrs. 
Woodbridge resigned this morning, and you'll 
have your chance again. 

Miss Mealey. [Brightening,] Don't say! I 
hadn't heard. Would you like to hear the chil- 
dren practise? We were going to, after Geog- 
raphy. Perhaps you'll be passing by and could 
stop. 

[Going toward the school. 

Minister. Well, maybe I will. 



278 LOVERS' LANE 

Miss Mealey. Come on in, Mame, if Dr 
Singleton can spare you. 

[Laughing, she goes slyly into the schoolhtmse. 
Mary follows. 

Minister. MissLarkin. [Following'M.K^Y.] I 
hope you are not angry with me for sending you 

« 

and Mr. Woodbridge from the Parsonage yester- 
day? 

Mary. No, no. I am not angry. 

Minister. Will you be here after CJeography, 
too? 

Mary. Yes, I'm going to see Simplicity 
through her struggles with the capital of Vermont. 

Minister. I know, she wants every State to 
have a Boston. 

Mary. Good-by. 

[She blushes and goes into sckaolhouse. 

Minister. [Follows a few steps.] No — no! 
Not good-by — I'm coming back. 



LOVERS' LANE 279 

Brown. [From the porch.] Grood morning, 
Minister ! 

Minister. Good morning, Mr. Brown. Lovely 
morning. 

Brown. I hear the billiard table come to the 
express office this morning. 

Minister. Yes, I'm going to see about its 
being put up now. 

Brown. Look out for the women ! They're 
dead set against it. 

Minister. What's the matter with the women 
in this town? 

Brown. Oh, they're just mad because you 
ain't married one of them yet. You take the 
advice of a friend who has gone and done it, and 
you go over to North Adams and get one of them 
purty young city girls ! 

Minister. When I first came here I thought 
they all liked me, and were going to help me 



28o LOVERS' LANE 

build up this place into a happy, free, broad- 
minded community. 

Brown. You can't do it, Doctor. Not with 
this here generation. They says now you are 
too free and broad-minded, and old Deacon Steele 
there, — he's as bad as the women folks. He 
even says as how nothing can stop you. If they 
don't look out, you'll be additating a corner 
saloon. 

Minister. Poor mistaken old man, when all 
I want is to make everybody here happy and 
contented in a good, healthy way, — and I'll do 
it yet, in spite of them 1 

Brown. Go ahead — I'm backing you. 

Minister. Look here, I want you to get in a 
stock of cards. 

Brown. Postal or visitin' — I've got 'em both. 

Minister. No. Playing cards 1 



LOVERS' LANE 281 

Brown. Playin' cards? I wouldn't risk the 
outlay. I'd never sell 'em. 

Minister. I'll order two packs now, for the 
young men's parlors. 

Brown. Well, you're goin' it purty strong! 
[Rising.] When the women folks hear that — 
[Whistles.] But I'll see you through. I'll write 
a postal card right oflF to Bosting. 

[He goes into the store to a desk by the window, 
and writes the card. The Minister walks up 
the street and meets Billy coming down. 

Minister. Hello, Billy ! 

Billy. Been up to your house, sir, with Dick 
Woodbridge. He's sorter sick. 

Minister. Sorry to hear that. Was his 
mother there? 

Billy. Yes, sir, but gee, I'm late ! 

[He runs into the school. 



282 LOVERS' LANE 

Minister. [Following,] Tell Miss Mealey it 
was my fault. 
[Mrs. Steele enters, on her way to the store. 
She noHces the Minister, turns up her nose, 
and flounces into the store. 
Mrs. Steele. [At the door,] Mr. Brown, is 
your wife here yet ? 

Brown. [Who was writing at his desk by the 
window, comes out,] No ! Didn't know she was 
coining ! 

Mrs. Steele. [On the step, looking up and down 

the street, and glancing at the Minister.] Well, 

she is, and that billiard table is going to be carted 

from the express office any minute now, if we 

don't prevent it! 

[She goes into the store, Skillig enters wilh 

paste-pot and brush, posters, etc. Whistling, 

He commences to paste on the board one sheet. 



LOVERS' LANE 283 

Skillig. [To Brown.] Good m-o-r-n-i-n-g — 

[He goes on pasting. 

Brown. Good morning, Mr. Skillig. Doctor 
Singleton, I want to introduce you to Mr. Skillig. 
Mr. Skillig is manager of our Oprey House. 

Skillig. How d'ye do? 

Minister. Glad to meet you, Mr. Skillig. 
Heard you'd come over to imdertake the manage- 
ment of the Opera House. 

Skillig. Yep ! yep ! and I lead the orchestra, 
too. ' 

Minister. Musical, too. That's good! You'll 
help us with the Old Folks Concert? 

Skillig.. [Vigorously pasting bill-board,] That's 
what I've got here in the bills. I'm billposter, 
too. [StUl pasting.] One man in his life plays 
many parts. 

Minister. An actor, too? 



284 LOVERS' LANE 

Skillig. I always thought so. [StUl pasting.] 

But I was too darned artistic for the present 

public. I tried everything, from Hamlet to 

Vaudyville, but I never reached Satiurday night 

in a single town. 

[He reads aloud. 

OLD FOLKS CONCERT 

AT THE 

Young People's Meeting Rooms 

IN LOVERS' LANE 
Next Saturday Evening at 7.30 Sharp 

FOR the benefit OF THE 

ADDITION TO THE SCHOOLHOUSE 

Admission 2$ Cents 
All Welcome Refreshments 

Brown. Here, Skillig, give me one of them 
posters, and I'll put it up in my store. 
[Skillig gives him a poster, and he goes into 
store. 



LOVERS' LANE 285 

Minister. [Pointing to paper on the bill- 
board,] It's a pity we haven't got some pictures 
like this Uncle Tom troupe to advertise our con- 
cert with. 

Skillig. That was a rotten show, though. 
Little Eva and Eliza doubled, and Uncle Tom did 
the bloodhounds behind the scenes. I won't 
have them in my Oprey House again. 

[Goes on pasting. 

Minister. Haven't you some left-over pic- 
tures — some pretty pictures you could put up 
for the Concert ? Something to attract the coun- 
try people? We want to make all the money we 
can. 

Skillig. [Stopping to think,] Well, now, I 
believe I have. There was a troupe that busted 
last week, and had sent on some writing, C. O. D. 
What was it they called themselves? Now, let 



286 LOVERS' LANE 

me see! Oh, yes — The New York Daisies. 
They might do. 

Minister. Pretty little girls? 

Skillig. That's your figure — they was 
daisies 1 

Minister. Well, give us some of those. 

Skillig. I'll go and get a couple now. 

[He puis down his paste bucket and brush. 

Minister. Good idea. Oh, Mr. Skillig ! I'd 
like to have you come around to our house some 
night and have supper. My sister Mattie'd be 
very glad to see you. 

Skillig. Thank you ! 

[He goes up the street. The Minister starts to 
go out, but Mary, from the window, coughs to 
attract his attention. 

Minister. Hello! Is that Geography lesson 
over? [Coming up to the window. 



LOVERS' LANE 287 

Mary. No, but poor Simplicity has finished. 
She said Boston was the largest city in the world, 
and she thought Vermont was a lake. 

Minister. Poor child! Where is she?^ 

[Peers in the window, 

Mary. In the corner with her face to the wall. 

Minister. Planning mischief, I'll be bound. 

Mary. Tell me, have you been where you were 
going? 

Minister. Oh, dear no ! I forgot. I'm oflf to 
see the billiard table set up in the yoimg men's 
club. 

Mary. [SMI talking through the window,] 
They haven't one yet? 

Minister. Yet? The Deacon and the Sew- 
ing Circle threaten to pull down the house if the 
table is set up, but I'll conquer before I get 
through ! I'll have the Deacon passing the time. 



288 LOVERS' LANE 

some dull, wet evening, with an honest game, and 
Molly Mealey pushing the beads along to keep 
count. Good-by. Will you be here when I get 
back? 

Mary. Yes. I'll be inside. Just rap three 
times on the ledge. Molly is awfully mad with 
me for playing London Bridge with you just now. 

Minister. [Absent-mindedly.] Is she? That's 
good. I — I — mean — that won't do any harm. 

Mary. Good-by. 

[Disappears from the window. 

Minister. Good-by. 

[He stands, watching the window where she was. 
Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Jennings enter on 
their way to the store. 

Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Jennings. [Together.] 
Good morning. Dr. Singleton ! 

Minister. Good morning — beautiful day I 



LOVERS' LANE 289 

Mrs. Brown. We're meeting at my husband's 
store to put down the billiard table! 

Minister. [As they both go into the store,] 
Don't let me stop you. I am just going to put 
it up! 

[As the Minister starts to go outy he meets 
Skillig coming back. 

Skillig. Hold on there — hold on there — 
I've got the pictures ! 

Minister. I can't wait — it's all right — put 
'em up. I'll see you to-morrow. 

[He goes out. 

Skillig. [With ysheet rolls y he prepares to paste 
them up.] This ought to be a great "ad" for an 
Old Folks Concert. [As he finishes pasting, he 
gazes admiringly at the pictures — a flashy group 
of chorus girls in tights, with large hats and 
feathers.] Cussed shame this troupe didn't show 



290 LOVERS' LANE 

here. Looks like a pretty good show. Calculated 
to wake this blessed old town up. 

[Brown enters as the second sheet is pasted up. 

Brown. [Disgusted,] Hello, Mr. Skillig! Do 
you think there's any room for me out o' doors? 

Skillig. I don't own the earth, Mr. Brown. 
Wish I did. [He pastes up the third sheet. 

Brown. Well, my wife and her women friends 
are in the store, and there's no room for me there. 
What are you doing ? 

Skillig. Puttin' up bills for the Old Folks 
Concert. 

[Brown starts to read the poster, Skillig goes 
on pasting. 

Mrs. Brown. [Coming out of the store with 
Mrs. Steele.] Hosea, you can go back into your 
store, now. [Mrs. Jennings staying on the porch. 

Brown. Have you emptied the vinegar barrel ? 



LOVERS' LANE 291 

Mrs. Steele. Good morning, Mr. Skillig. [She 
sees the poster and screams.] Oh, Mrs. Brown and 
Mrs. Jennings ! Look ! 

Mrs. Brown. Good gracious ! 

Mrs. Jennings. [Rushing from the porch.] 
What is it — T?diat is it? 

Mrs. Brown. Don't look, Mrs. Jennings! 
Don't look! 

Mrs. Jennings. I guess I do look — you have! 
[Looks at the posters.] Sakes alive ! 

Skillig. What's the matter! [Turning to 
Brown.] Be they jealous? [Brown is shaking 
with laughter. 

Mrs. Brown. Give me that brush! [She 
struggles for the brush — and gets it.] Give me 
one of those white sheets. [She picks it up and 
pastes it excitedly over part of one of the pictures.] 
You come near enough to see this picture and 



292 LOVERS* LANE 

I'll paste a bill on you! [To Skillig.] And now 
you paste it all over, or I'll tear it off, or I'll 
have you arrested. 

Skillig. It was the Minister told me to put it 
there. 

Mrs. Brown. What ! 

Mrs. Steele. The Minister ! 

Mrs. Jennings. A nice man to have guiding 
our young, and ruling in our midst! 

Mrs. Brown. [Showing postal card,] And 
what do you think I just found on my husband's 
counter ? 

Mrs. Steele. To a woman? 

Mrs. Brown. No, but most as bad. To Bos- 
ting for playing cards ! 

[Tears the postal card in half, and throws it away. 

Mrs. Steele. As for them indecent pictures, 
the Deacon will attend to them. 



LOVERS' LANE 293 

Mrs. Jennings. And the billiard table ! 
Mrs. Brown. Let that be for the present, and 
come back now to Miss Canning^s. Putting Mrs. 
Woodbridge out of the choir ain't enough; we 
must put that scandalous orphan — Simplicity 
— of his, out of that school! I ain't agoin' to 
have her ruining of my boy's character. 

Mrs. Steele. She's a bad influence, that's 
what she is, and we'll show Dr. Singleton who is 
boss of this town ! 

Mrs. Brown. We women folks! We'll settle 
it at Miss Canning's. 

[The three women go out talking excitedly. As 
they gOy Skillig picks up the postal card — 
pastes it together with paper j and then mails it 
in the letter-box, whistling, ^^ There'll he a hot 
time in the old town to-mght,'^ The Minister 
re-enters. 



294 LOVERS' LANE 

Minister. [Calling] Mr. Brown! Mr. Brown! 

Brown. {Coming hack,] Yes, sir. 

Minister. I got it up. 

Brown. What ? 

Minister. The billiard table. 

Brown. Good ! But I say — 

Minister. Can*t stop now. You must ex- 
cuse me. I have an engagement. [The Minister 
goes toward the window of the school. Brown 
goes into the store. The Minister taps three 
times on the window-ledge, Mary appears at 
the window,] Sorry I was so long. 

Mary. Why, it wasn't long. YouVe only 
been gone ten minutes. 

Minister. Jupiter! I thought it was about 
an hour and a half. 

Mary. I thought perhaps you'd met Herbert 
— Mr. Woodbridge. 



LOVERS' LANE 295 

Minister. I did — and his sister, Mrs. Lane. 
She thinks I was wrong yesterday. I wonder 
if I was. 

Mary. What did Herbert say? 

Minister. I only talked with Mrs. Lane. 
There are other ministers to go to, you know. 

Mary. I won't be married by anybody ex- 
cept you. 

Minister. Do you know. Miss Larkin, I 
wish you lived here! 

Mary. So do I. 

Minister. Then, why don't you come and 
live with us? Oh, dear, I don't suppose that 
would do — Besides, we haven't any room. 
I don't know as I would exactly blame Mr. 
Woodbridge for hating me. 

Mary. Why should anyone hate you? 

Minister. Dear me! Then you must blame a 



296 LOVERS* LANE 

lot of women in this town. I find myself getting 
very unpopular. What do you wear on that 
ribbon around your neck? 

Mary. I don't like to tell. 

Minister. Why not? 

Mary. It's something I want to give you. 
It's the real reason I came to town to-day. 
But I can't give it to you here — someone 
might see me. I'll bring it to the Parsonage. 

Minister. I don't see how I can wait till 
then to know what it is. 

Mary. [Laughing.] I'm afraid you'll have to. 

Minister. [Taking her hand,] Isn't it funny 
how much prettier your hand is than Mattie's? 

Mary. [Blushing and drawing her hand away,] 
Is it? 

Minister. And prettier'n Aunt Melissy's or 
Mrs. Brown's or Miss Mealey's and even Simple's. 



LOVERS' LANE 297 

Prettier even than Simple's when it's clean. 
It is on special occasions. 

Mary. Oh, you're a flatterer, Mr. Singleton! 

{The children's voices are heard inside, trying 
to sing the ^^ Swing and Cricket^' song, with 
the organ. 

Minister. And I bet Molly Mealey didn't 
tell you so. 

Mary. I forgot. They're practising now for 
you. 

Minister. Ought I come in? 

Mary. No, they want to come out here and 
surprise you. 

Minister. Surprise me? 

Mary. Sh! Yes! Don't say I told you, 
but they're dressed up in the old-fashioned 
clothes they're going to wear, and when they 
know you are here, they are going to march 



298 LOVERS' LANE 

out and surprise you. I must tell Molly you've 
come. 

Minister. No, don't tell her yet. 

Mary. Why not? 

Minister. [Absent-mindedly,] Oh, I don't 
know. I just thought that you and I might 
go on talking for a couple of hours. 

Mary. Oh, no, there isn't time. I must tell 
them! Besides, Molly's awfully mad at me 
still. She says I needn't come over here to see 
her ; that it's only a blind to see you. [Laugh- 
ing,] Isn't she silly? 

Minister. Yes, I suppose she is. 

Mary. Good-by. 

[She vanishes from the window. 

Minister. [Absent-mindedly , turning from 
window,] Yes, siree! It's the prettiest hand 
I ever saw. 



LOVERS' LANE 299 

Mary. {Comes out of the schoolhouse door and 
speaks to him, as if they hadnH been speaking 
before,] How do you do, Dr. Singleton. 

Minister. Glad to see you again, Miss 
Larkin. 

[Miss Mealey appears at the schoolhouse door. 

Miss Mealey. Oh, that's what you were 
doing at the window, Mame Larkin? Talking 
to the Minister. Ill thank you not to make 
my schoolhouse your rendezvous. 

Mary. Molly! 

Miss Mealey. I'm not playing gooseberry 
to anyone. If you want to carry on with the 
Minister, you'd better do it in your own home! 

Minister. Miss Mealey! Miss Mealey! 

[The children run out from the schoolhouse, 
dressed for the Old Folks Concert, singing 
"Old Dog TrayJ*^ They form a grape-arbor 



36b LOVERS' LANE 

by joining hands across the stage. The first 
couple stop in front of the steps and join hands. 
The next couple pass under and do likewise^ 
until all form the grape-arbot. The fat boy, 
passing through last, stops a second and 
watches the children. The last couple through 
start back single file through the arbor and circle 
round the Minister, all running off through 
the schoolhouse. The fat boy, with his hand 
on the shoulder of the last boy on the line, 
slyly peeps at the pastor until he reaches the 
steps, when he falls into schoolhouse. As 
the children go out, Mrs. Brown, Deacon 
Steele, Mrs. Steele, and Mrs. Jennings 
come on. 
Mrs. Brown. There, Deacon, that's it! 

That's the scandalous thing, and the Minister 

chose it ! 



LOVERS* LANE 301 

Steele. And in front of Molly Mealey's school. 
[To Miss Mealey.] Keep the children in school. 

Minister. [Now looking at the hill-hoard for 
the first time,] Jupiter! Is that Skillig's idea 
of a daisy? The old man's made a mistake. 
This won't do ! 

Steele. No, siree, it won't do ! 

Mrs. Brown. And lots more things won't do. 

Mrs. Steele. The billiard table's up. We'll 
get it down if we have to saw its limbs off ! 

Miss Mealey. Oh, the Minister has other 
games. He can always play London Bridge 
with East Eddysville girls. 

Mrs. Brown. [To Steele.] Go on — Sim- 
plicity — 

Steele. Molly, is it true what the ladies 
have been telling me, that Simplicity Johnson 
is the most punished child in your school? 



302 LOVERS' LANE 

Miss Mealey. Yes, Deacon, that^s true. 

Minister. Poor Simple ! 

Mrs. Brown. And she deserves it, Molly. 

Miss Mealey. More than she gets. 

Minister. I doubt that. 

Mrs. Brown. I beg pardon. Dr. Singleton, 
but just now we^re in the pulpit. 

Minister. Then Heaven help your congre- 
gation ! 

Steele. Mrs. Brown says as Simplicity Ues. 

Miss Mealey. She does. 

Minister. Be careful. Miss Mealey. You'll 
have to prc^ve everything you say. 

Mrs. Brown. And Mrs. Jennings says she 
steals — took marbles from her boy. 

Minister. Simple! 

Miss Mealey. Shouldn't be surprised. 

Mrs. Brown. And Mrs. Steele says — 

[Mumbles on until Steele interrupts. 



LOVERS* LANE 303 

Steele. Let me do the talking, Mrs. Brown. 
[To Minister.] Mrs. Steele, than whom there 
ain't no more trustful woman, allows that this 
child is a menace to the young of this town. 

Minister. Huh! 

Mrs. Brown. Yes, indeed. She's a bad ex- 
ample — that's what she is. And out she's 
got to git! 

Steele. [To Miss Mealey.] Molly, fetch 
her here. 

Miss Mealey. [Calling Simplicity from the 

schooL\ Simplicity ! 

[Simplicity comes in, 

Mrs. Brown. Simplicity Johnson, you're ex- 
pelled from this school. 
Simplicity. I'm glad of it ! 
Mrs. Brown. Oh, you are! 
Mrs. Steele. What impudence! 
Mrs. Jennings. Well, I never! 



304 LOVERS' LANE 

Steele. But that ain*t all. 

Mrs. Brown. No, siree, it's only the, be- 
ginning. You're going to be sent, Miss, to the 
Massachusetts State House of Correction. 

Minister. What! 

Mary. No! 

Miss Mealey. Oh, of course. Miss Larkin 
would take the Minister's side. 

Minister. But that's as good as sending her 
to jail. 

Simplicity. Jail! [She screams, throwing her- 
self on the ground in front of the Minister..] No, 
no, Pops ! Don't let 'em send me ! Don't let 'em 
send me to jail ! 

Minister. [Lifting her,] Never mind, Simple, 
don't worry. 

[He embraces her. The others are horrified, 

Steele. The child is expelled. 



LOVERS' LANE 305 

Minister. And I say she isn't. Who ex- 
pelled her? 

Miss Mealey. I do. 

Minister. You? You haven't the right. 

Mrs. Brown. Then, Molly Mealey, you re- 
sign. 

Miss Mealey. I do ! I resign the school 

« 
this minute. 

Minister. Good! You witness that, Mr. 
Brown. She resigns. 

Brown. Yes, siree, Minister. I witness it. 

Mrs. Brown. [Who nods knowingly to Miss 
Mealey.] And now you have no teacher in the 
town ! 

All. Ugh-huh! 

Minister. Miss Larkin, I know you don't 
need our little salary, but you said you'd like 
to live in this town, and I'd like to have you. 



3o6 LOVERS' LANE 

Will you accept the vacant post of teacher of 
this school? 
Mary. Yes, Dr. Singleton. 
Minister. Thank you. Come in and let 
me introduce you to the scholars. 
[Mary and Minister go into the schoolhouse 
and close the door. In surprise the four 
women follow, and look in through the window. 
On seeing the new teacher y cheering from the 
children is heard, as 



THE CURTAIN FALLS 



ACT m 

Scene: The orchard back of the Minister's 
house, A covered porch opens out into the 
garden. It is an Autumn day; the ground is 
strewn with fallen leaves. There is an apple tree 
with apples on it, and under it a bench. The 
Minister's home is to the Left. On the Right, 
a little path leads up-hill through trees, to a gate. 
A golden Autumn light pervades everywhere. 

Uncle Bill and Aunt Melissy are discovered 
sitting on a bench under the apple tree. Sim- 
plicity is in the tree, watching them from above. 
Aunt Melissy. I'm sure, Mr. Bill, it's a 

long time since I've thought of such a thing 

as marriage and giving in marriage. 

307 



3o8 LOVERS* LANE 

Uncle Bill. I ain't sot much store on it. 

Aunt Melissy. [Holding her hand to her 
ear,] H-a-y-ee ? 

Uncle Bill. I say I ain't sot much store 
on it myself for the last forty years. 

Aunt Melissy. But I must say it's a bit 
comfortin' to an old body like me to hear as 
there's someone cares enough for her to want 
her to change her name. 

Uncle Bill. Then you think, Melissy dear, 
you kin trust your life to me? [Simplicity 
drops autumn leaves on them from above,] I 
guess the wind's raisin'. 

Aunt Melissy. And you'd never let me die 
in the poorhouse, would you, Mr. Bill? 

Uncle Bill. No, siree, Melissa. 

Aunt Melissy. Ha-a-ye-? 

[Simplicity drops more leaves on them. 



LOVERS' LANE 309 

Uncle Bill. [Looking up,] Sort o' spasmotic 
breezes ever' now and then — hope 'tain't goin' 
ter rain. 

Aunt Melissy. It will be more convenient 
for the Minister, too, havin' us married, Mr. 
William. 

Uncle Bill. Yes, it'll give him an extra room. 

Aunt Melissy. H-a-y-e-? 

Uncle Bill. [Louder.] I say it'll give him 
an extra room for Mis' Woodbridge. That's 
one reason made me ask yer to-day. Thought 
as how we wus getting sort o' cramped fur room, 
in the Parsonage. 

Aunt Melissy. You mustn't say we wus, if 
I am going to be Mrs. Walters. I'll have to 
teach you grammar, Mr. William. 

Uncle Bill. Then it's all settled, is it, 
Melissy? [Simplicity drops an apple on Uncle 



3IO LOVERS' LANE 

Bill's head. He picks up the apple,] We're 
goin' ter have an all-fired early apple crop. 
Hev this one with me, Melissy. IVe heard 
tell of them heathen gods gave Venus a gold 
apple cas she was a pretty girl. 

Aunt Melissy. H-a-y-e? 

Uncle Bill. I say IVe heard tell of one of 
them heathen gods gave Venus a gold apple 
cas she was a pretty gal. 

Aunt Melissy. Now, go 'long, Mr. Bill, I'm 
not a pretty girl. 

Uncle Bill. I didn't say ye wus; I said 
Venus wus a pretty gal. 

Aunt Melissy. Oh ! Yer mustn't talk 'bout 
Venus until we're married. Come, let us ask 
the Minister. 

[They start to go to the house as Bridget and 
Mr. Brown come out. 



LOVERS' LANE 311 

Bridget. You'll find him in the orchard. 

[Bridget goes in again. 

Brown. Hello — Uncle Bill — is the Minister 
here? 

Uncle Bill. No, sir, he's to Miss Canning's. 
Kin we do anythin' fur yer? 

Brown. Well, I dunno. I've come to warn 
the Minister, in a friendly way, there's trouble 
brewing in the church. How is he to-day? 
He's behaved sort o' absent-minded and curious- 
like the last few days. 

Aunt Melissy. [To Brown.] The Minister 
was all put out by the singing in the church 
Sunday. Said he missed the inspiration of 
Mis' Woodbridge's voice. 

Brown. Ah, he owned up, did he? That was 
a mistake. Well, the trouble is, most of the con- 
gregation take a different view and sez it made 



312 LOVERS* LANE 

*em feel real comfortable hearing Molly Mealey 
getting off the key again in the same old place. 

Aunt Melissy. H-a-y-e? 

Brown. Made 'em feel sort o' comfortable 
hearing Molly Mealey getting off the key again 
in the same old place. 

Aunt Melissy. 0-h! 

Brown. [To Uncle Bill.] Mis' Woodbridge 
settlin' down here ter stay? 

Uncle Bill. She's come fer good. I guess 
— anyway fer a long spell. Her boy was took 
sick yesterday. 

Brown. That's too bad ! Things are going 
against the Minister. They're all saying he 
give 'em an old sermon last Sunday. 

Uncle Bill. He had a new one begun — a 
scorcher — I guess. About whether there's a 
Purgatory or not. 



LOVERS' LANE 313 

Brown. That's just what they wanted. He 
ought to have given it to 'em hot. 

Uncle Bill. I think he took the side of there 
being no actual place of the kind. 

Brown. There you have it! Just goin' con- 
trary to the folks' wishes. The people are 
scandalized by his taking Mis' Woodbridge in. 
Tell the Minister I've come to tell him there's 
a private meeting of the Council will be held 
pretty soon, and I'd advise him, as a friend, 
to happen in, and if he can say as Mis' Wood- 
bridge has gone to the City on the 5 : 30 p.m. 
train, it'd be the best thing fur him. 

[During this speech, Aunt Melissy edges over 
to Brown, listening. 

Aunt Melissy. H-a-y-e? 

Brown. Oh, dog-gon-it — you tell her ! 

[Walking up and down. 



314 LOVERS* LANE 

Uncle Bill. Mis' Woodbridge's going to the 
City on the 5 : 30 train. 

Simplicity. [From the tree,] Hello, Mr. Brown. 

Brown. Hey? What? 

Uncle Bill. [Surprised, looking about.] It's 
Simplicity. 

Brown. [Also looking about.] Where is she? 

Simplicity. [In the tree,] Here I am, up in 
the tree. 

Brown. Oh, I thought you weren't allowed 
to climb the tree? 

Simplicity. [Eating an apple.] I'm not, by 
Miss Mattie, but Pop lets me. 

Brown. There, that's just what everyone 
says — he lets the child do as she pleases. 

Uncle Bill. They'd better not talk to me 
about the Minister ! I can tell yer that I haven't 
been ringing the bell there for twenty years with 



LOVERS' LANE 315 

this arm, without putting some muscle into it. 
Who bought the bell and give it ter the church ? 
Why, the Minister. • 

Aunt Melissy. \Who hasnH heard correctly,] 
Yes, indeed, I was a great belle in my day. 

[Brown looks disgusted and walks away. 

Uncle Bill. We're talking about the church 
bell the Minister gave. The ding, ding, ding 
dong bell. 

Aunt Melissy. Oh, yes, indeed, and he just 
the same as give the church itself. When he 
first came here, he started right in by lifting 
the mortgage of three thousand dollars out of his 
own pocket. 

Simplicity. Yes, siree, and I heard every 
word you said, Mr. Brown, and I can tell you 
one thing, — Pops will do what's right in spite 
of all the Councils in creation. 



3i6 LOVERS' LANE 

Brown. But Simplicity, the Minister'd better 
humor the Council. It's for them to decide 
who's to be in their pulpit. 

Simplicity. I don't care who decides what. 
I'll bet on Pops every time. 

Brown. Well, I'm his friend, too. I'm going 
ter do all I kin. [Goes out through the gate. 

Simplicity. Uncle Bill, I'm awful glad you 
and Aunt Melissy are going to be married, but 
you'd better break it to Miss Mattie first. Pops 
will be tickled to death, but Mattie will throw 
a fit. 

Aunt Melissy. [To Uncle Bill.] H-a-y-e? 
What did' she say? 

Uncle Bill. She's offering us hier congratu- 
lations. . 

Aunt Melissy. Thank you, Simplicity. 

Simplicity. Aunt MeUssy, I'll be your brides- 
maid. 



LOVERS' LANE 317 

Aunt Melissy. H-a-y-e? What did she say? 

Uncle Bill. She says she wishes she was going 
ter be married. 

Aunt Mehssy. There's plenty of time for 
you, Simplicity, plenty of time for you. 

S1MPJ.ICITY. Uncle Bill, ain't you ashamed of 
yerself, sparkin' the girls at your age? 

Uncle Bill. What's age got to do with it? 

Aunt Melissy. H-a-y-e? What did she say? 

Uncle Bill. She said you look twenty years 
younger than yer did yesterday. 

[They go into the house laughing. 

Simplicity. [StUl from the tree,] I don't want 
ter marry anyone in the world but Pops — I'm 
goin' to wait until I'm grown up fer him. The 
trouble is, I'm afraid I'll never be good enough. 

[The Minister has entered through the gate 
and is going towards the house. Simplicity 
throws an apple and hits the Minister. 



3i8 LOVERS' LANE 

Minister. Hello, is that you, Simple? 

Simplicity. Yep. Come along up. 

Minister. T climb into that tree? Why, 
what would Mattie say? 

Simplicity. She wouldn't care imless you 
tore your pants. Come along up. 

Minister. No, you come down — come on — 
or you'll get into trouble. Look at all the 
trouble one woman got us into by fooling with 
an apple tree. 

[The Minister takes his hat off and lays it 

on the bench, going up to the tree. He coaxes 
Simplicity to come down. 

Minister. Come on down — come on down. 
Simplicity. No, not unless you come up after 
me first. 
Minister. We'll see if you won't ! 
[The Minister, reachmg up to her, catches her 



LOVERS' LANE 319 

— trying to pull her down by the ankles. Sim- 
plicity kicks and laughs. 
Simplicity. Pops, you tickle me ! 
Minister. Come down, then. I'll paddy- 
whack you — that's what I'll do, if you don't. 
Simplicity. I'm not afraid. Ouch! 
Minister. Are you coming? 
Simplicity. No — ouch! 
Minister. Yes you are, too. 
[Simplicity loses her hold. She slides down 
from the tree, and her dress catches on a snag 
as the Minister helps her down. 
Simplicity. Oh, did you hear that? 
Minister. Did it tear ? 
Simplicity. Yes, and you did it too. Pops ! 
Minister. By Jupiter — what'U Mattie say? 
Simplicity. [Trying to fix tear.] She walloped 
me yesterday fer doin' it, with her hair brush. 



320 LOVERS' LANE 

Minister. Try and keep out of sight until 
after prayers again. She didn't punish you 
the other night, did she? 

Simplicity. No, of course not, after the 
chapter you read. Pops. I thought it was 
awful good of you to choose one about being 
patient with transgressors. 

{She takes an apple out of her waist, and bites U, 

Minister. I wasn't thinking of you. Simple. 
I read that for Mrs. Woodbridge. 

Simplicity. [Throwing down apple.] Say, 
Pops, youVe got to stop that. Mr. Brown 
has just been here ter say so. 

Minister. Mr. Brown ? To say what ? 

Simplicity. He says the church people are 
mad as hornets at you. 

Minister. Mad at me? Why? 

Simplicity. 'Cause you let Mrs. Woodbridge 
come and live with us. 



LOVERS' LANE 321 

Minister. What business is that of theirs? 

Simplicity. There's a meeting of the Council 
this afternoon. 

Minister. [Angry] What? A church meet- 
ing without me? 

Simplicity. That's it, Pops. Get mad at 
them — don't you be afraid ! 

Minister. Did he say anything else? 

Simplicity. Yes. Lots ! They all liked Miss 

Mealey's singing. 

[Giggling, 

Minister. [Laughing.] No? Did he say 

that, Simple? [Laughs.] Oh, that's too good. 

[The Minister and Simplicity both laugh. 

Simplicity. And you preached an old sermon 
day before yesterday. 

Minister. Well, I did — I did. I couldn't 
get Mary Larkin's face out of my eyes long 
enough to write. 



322 LOVERS' LANE 

Simplicity. And Mrs. Woodbridge? Oh, 
they're mad — you took her in. 

Minister. Poor woman! They'd hound her 
out of the village if they could. 

Simplicity. That's what he said, Pops. It'd 
be good for you if you could happen in at the 
meeting and say that Mrs. Woodbridge was 
going to the City on the 5 : 30 train. 

[Mattie enters from house. 

Minister. [Angry.] I'll happen into the meet- 
ing and tell them she won't do any such thing. 

Mattie. [On the steps.] What, Tom? 

Minister. Why, there's trouble in the church 
over Mrs. Woodbridge. They've driven her 
out of the choir and out of her home, and now 
they want to drive her out of the Parsonage. 

Mattie. [Coming down.] Well, I'd like to 
see them do it. 



LOVERS' LANE 323 

Simplicity. Bully for you ! 

[Running to Mattie and taking her hand. 

Mattie. [Looking at SiMPuaxY's hands,] For 
goodness' sake, go and wash your hands — 
they're filthy ! 

[Simplicity goes, but sits down on the steps. 

Minister. She shall stay with me as long as 
she wants to. The Parsonage belongs to me. 
I'm going to give it to the church, but I haven't 
yet. 

Mattie. But Tom, dear, the church isn't 
yours. 

Minister. What do you mean, Mattie ? 

Mattie. The Council have the power to put 
you out of the church for good. 

Minister. Put me out? Put me — why, 
Mattie — how could you ever think of such a 
thing — me? 



324 LOVERS' LANE 

Mattde. Well, suppose that you didn't satisfy 
them? 

Minister. Didn't satisfy them? What do 
they want? IVe given them most of my money 
and all of my time. Why, the bell in that 
little square tower over there has never rung out 
once, in all these fifteen years for service, without 
our gate latching behind me before the third 
stroke. 

Mattie. Don't I know that, Tom, dear ? 

Minister. They'd never ask me to resign. 
Why, they couldn't do a cruel thing like that ! 
They can't help knowing that my heart and soul 
are mortared up in those red brick walls — Why, 
Mattie — Mattie — how could you? 

{He goes over to the bench and sUs dawn, 

Mattie. Good gracious, Tom, I didn't want 
to make you feel this bad — 



LOVERS' LANE 325 

Minister. Oh, well, I guess Simple has been 
exaggerating a little. 

Mattie. Simple! Now I wish Fd punished her 
last night for tearing her dress again. Perhaps 
I will, anyway, when I go in. 

{Simplicity, who has been listening, runs into 
the house. 

Minister. How's little Dick? 

Mattie. 'Bout the same — fever high, but the 
Doctor says there's no danger. But that isn't 
my news ! It's Aunt Melissy. 

Minister. [Rising,] Not dead? 

Mattie . [Laughing,] No — worse — married ! 

Minister. Married? 

[Laughing incredulously, 

Mattie. She and Uncle Bill want your con- 
sent. 

Minister. Jupiter! What did you tell them? 



326 LOVERS' LANE 

Mattie. Never was so stunned in my life! 
I was speechless ! 

Minister. Speechless ! I guess it was for the 
first time, Mattie. 

Mattie. Well, I'd like to know where you'd 
be if it wasn't for my tongue? 

Minister. Crowded out of existence long 
ago. I'll tell you how to let Aunt Melissy know 
my answer. You know those worsted slippers 
Molly Mealey gave me the other day? 

Mattie. Yes, I put them in the Missionary 
Church along with the others. 

Minister. Well, take them to Aunt Melissy, 
and say I sent them to her to give to Uncle 
Bill. 

[Enter Bridget from the house with broom and 
dust cap, her dress pinned up, 

Bridget. If yer plaze, there's such a foine 



LOVERS' LANE 327 

lady ter see ye. With kid gloves and par- 
asol and voice like a Frinch novel. Calls her- 
self Mrs. Lane. 

Mattie. Good gradous ! And the parlor fur- 
niture's got covers on, and the mosquito netting's 
all over the chandelier! 

[Mattie hurries into the house. 

Minister. {Pauses,\ Let her come here. 

Bridget. [Pause,] And Mrs. Brown and her 
two gabby friends is here to see Mattie. 

[Mrs. Lane enters from the house, 

Mrs. Lane. Good afternoon, Doctor. 

[Bridget goes into the house. 

Minister. Good day. To what am I in- 
debted for this pleasure? 

Mrs. Lane. As my brother, Mr. Woodbridge, 
acknowledged, he failed to accomplish anything 
with you yesterday. I have come to appeal to 



328 LOVERS' LANE 

the woman who was his wife and left him. Mrs. 
Woodbridge is stajdng at the Parsonage, I be- 
lieve? 

Minister. That is true. 

Mrs. Lane. Is she at home? 

Minister. She is. 

Mrs. Lane. I have asked for you lest you 
should think I were doing something under- 
handed. I presume I may see her. 

Minister. If she has no objection. 

[Mrs. Brown, Molly Mealey and Mrs. 
Steele enters all coming from the house and 
talking rapidly. 

All. Good afternoon, Minister. 

Minister. Good afternoon. [On seeing the 
women, Mrs. Lane looks irritated] Mrs. Brown, 
this is Mrs. Lane from New York. Mrs. Brown 
is the head woman of our church. 



LOVERS' LANE 329 

Mrs. Brown. [Comes forward to greet Mrs. 
Lane.] Pleased to meet you. 

{Turns up her nose. 

Mrs. Lane. [Drawing aside coldly.] How do 
you do? 

Minister. Miss Molly Mealey, the alto in 
our choir. You'd hear her sing a solo if you came 
to church. 

Miss Mealey. [Cornes forward giggling.] How 
do you do ? 

Mrs. Lane. [Drawing aside coldly.] How do 
you do, Miss Mealey? 

Minister. Mrs. Steele bakes the best bread in 
the whole town. We couldn't give a church 
sociable without her. 

Mrs. Steele. [Eyeing her critically, comes for- 
ward and says roughly :] How-de-do ? 

[The three women move away. 



330 LOVERS' LANE 

Mrs. Lane. \Walks to the steps of the house. 
She turns to the Minister.] Good afternoon, 
Doctor. I was to meet my brother here. If he 
comes after I have gone, will you be kind enough 
to say that I have returned to the hotel ? Ladies 

— good afternoon. 

[Goes into the house. The three ladies watch her, 
Mrs. Brown. Such airs ! 
Miss Mealey. [To Mrs. Brown.] I never 
saw such manners ! 
Minister. You see she comes from the City 

— she doesn't know any better ! 
Mrs. Steele. Y-e-s I 

[The three gossip, and all laugh patronizingly and 

look at each other. 
Mrs. Brown. Is she staying at the Parsonage ? 
Minister. Oh, no. 
Miss Mealey. We thought she might be 



LOVERS' LANE 331 

Visiting Mrs. Woodbridge. She is staying at the 
Parsonage, we believe, for good now. 

Minister. Yes, she and her little boy, who is ill. 

Miss Mealey. So Miss Mattie told us. 
WeVe jnst been to see her — 

Mrs. Brown. Being a Committee of the Sew- 
ing Circle — 

Miss Mealey. Which was ter meet here 
to-morrow at the Parsonage — 

Mrs. Steele. Y-e-s. 

Minister. Isn't Mattie willing? You just 
leave her to me. 

Mrs. Brown. It's the ladies of the Sewing 
Circle who ain't willing, Mr. Minister. 

Miss Mealey. Whom we represent — 

Mrs. Steele. Y-e-s ! 

Mrs. Brown. If Mrs. Woodbridge is in the 
Parsonage, the ladies won't come. 



332 LOVERS* LANE 

Miss Mealey. We gave Miss Mattie her 
choice. 

Mrs. Brown. And she chose Mrs. Wood- 
bridge. 

Minister. Bully for Mattie 1 

Miss Mealey. Hem I and we are now on our 
way to the Sunday-school room to report. 

[They start toward the gate. 

Mrs. Brown. To the Coimcil that's in session 
there, and who are waiting to hear the result of 
our visit. 

Mrs. Steele. [To the Minister.] Y-e-s. 

Minister. You'd better not keep them wait- 
ing. 

Mrs. Brown. Doctor, perhaps you wouldn't 
indorse Miss Mattie's decision. 

Minister. Wouldn't I? All I want is the 
chance. 



LOVERS' LANE 333 

Mrs. Brown. That settles it. 

[Goes through the gate, 

Mrs. Steele. Y-e-s. 

[She rushes out of gate, and joins Mrs. Brown. 

Miss Mealey. [Inside gate, half crying,] Are 
congratulations in order, Minister? 

Minister. Yes, for Aunt Melissy and Uncle 
Bill. 

Miss Mealey. [At the gate,] I ain't joking, 
Minister. I think you'd better give me back 
those slippers I embroidered. 

Minister. [Recollects,] By Jupiter — it's too 
late now — I've given them to Uncle Bill ! 

.Miss Mealey. [Half crying,] How dared 
you? 

[Going down the lane and out of sight, calling 
"Lizzie — Lizzie." Herbert Woodbridge 
enters. 



334 LOVERS' LANE 

Herbert. Has my sister gone? 

Minister. Yes, to the hotel. 

Herbert. Well, what are you going to do for 
me? 

Minister. Nothing. You won't let me do 
anything for you. 

Herbert. Try me and see. 

Minister. Well, will you promise me to give 
up a life you can't afford — to give up drinking 
if you can't help getting drunk, and to try and 
live a life that will be an honor for Miss Larkin 
to share — 

Herbert. And if I won't promise all that? 

Minister. Then I must use my influence, ^if 
I have any, against you. 

Herbert. You've got a lot of influence. 
That's the curse of it ! I'll tell you what it is 
— I believe you are in love with her. 



LOVERS' LANE 335 

Minister. I? 

Herbert. Yes. Why did you take such an 
interest in her, and why did you give her a ring 
off your own hand, and one that you were evi- 
dently pretty fond of, too? And why have you 
got her over here to teach school? Of course 
you're in love with her ! I want to know if you 
think it's an honest thing for you to take a man's 
wife away from him at the very moment of his 
marriage ! 

Minister. Look here, young man, do you 
know who you're talking to? 

Herbert. Yes, I do — I'm talking to the 
Minister whom I asked to marry me, and who, 
instead of doing so, is amusing himself by casting 
slurs on my character. A caddish thing to do! 

Minister. Cad! You'd better take that 
back. 



336 LOVERS' LANE 

Herbert. No, I won't. It was an underhand 
thing to do. 

[Makes a motion to strike the Minister. 
Minister. [Holding of at arm's length.] Look 
out! Preaching isn't the only thing I can do. 
I'm the captain of our ball nine, and the Congre- 
gationalists didn't knock out the Methodists last 
Spring for nothing. I can use my fists. 

[Herbert strikes viciously at the Minister. 
Herbert. Use them ! 

[The Minister, catching Herbert's arm, pre- 
vents the blow. He holds him fast, A tense 
pause. Then he lets go. 
Minister. I'm only afraid I will. 
Herbert. Afraid you will ? 
Minister. Yes, I'm afraid I'll forget I'm a 
Minister, as you forgot that you were a gentle^ 
man. 



LOVERS' LANE 337 

Herbert. [Shamed, turns from Minister.] 
I beg your pardon — I did forget myself. 

Minister. Why, you Ve no muscle ! If you'd 
been half as ready to fight the Evil One as you 
are to pitch into me, you'd get more strength of 
one kind, anyway. 

Herbert. You're right — I beg your pardon 
— it is I who am the cad. \Walks over to the tree. 

Minister. [Whose eyes follow Herbert.] 
Now, that acknowledgment makes me respect 
you more than anything else youVe said or done. 

Herbert. [Turning to him,] How's that ? 

Minister. Because there's hope for a man 
who can see he's been wrong and acknowledges 
it. You didn't behave right to your wife and 
boy, did you? 

Herbert. No, I didn't, and I'm sorry for it, 
too. A year ago I wanted to go to Lucy and ask 



338 LOVERS* LANE 

her to try me again, but my sister told me I'd be 
a fool. I had a feeling I'd like to see the boy. 
I used to wonder how he looked. I could only 
remember him as such a little chap. 

Minister. [With his hands on Herbert's 
shotdders,] Look here, there's good in you. 

Herbert. Not much, I guess. 

Minister. Yes, there is. Will you give me 
your promise to try for the next six months to do 
without those things which would keep Mary — 
Miss Larkin — from being happy? 

Herbert. I'll try my best. 

Minister. You'll promise? 

Herbert. [Going up to the Minister and shak- 
ing hands.] I'll promise. 

Minister. Good — 

Herbert. In six months I'll come back and 
ask for Mary — 



LOVERS' LANE 339 

Minister. And 1*11 give her to you. 

Herbert. I shan't write to her, though, nor 
let her write to me. I'll tell her to-day, and say 
good-by. 

Minister. You'll find her at the schoolhouse. 

[Herbert goes toward the gate, and gets to the 
tree as Mrs. Woodbridge appears on the 
porchy coming from the house. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. [Coming down,] Doctor, 
Mrs. Lane has asked me to — [She notices Her- 
bert.] She told me you were alone. Doctor. 

Herbert. [Turns, at sound of voice, sees Mrs. 
Woodbridge, and starts,] I am just saying 
good-by — 

Mrs. Woodbridge. Wait ! [Herbert stops,] 
It would, perhaps, be as well for you to hear what 
I have to say, that you may assure your sister 
I kept my word to her. [To the Minister.] 



340 LOVERS' LANE 

His sister wishes me to tell you — what I believe 
to be true — that her brother loves me dearly — 
that he never ill-treated me, and as I believe I 
said to you the other day, I think he is capable 
of better things. 

Herbert. Lucy — you are too generous to 
me. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. I am trying to be just — 
I confess that at such a time as this — \Wiih 
emotion,] My heart feels tender towards my 
boy's father. 

Herbert. What do you mean? 

Mrs. Woodbridge. \With a sob in her vpice.] 
I mean he is very ill. 

[Turning toward the house. 

Herbert. 111? Dick! I shovdd like to see 
him! 

Mrs. Woodbridge. [Coming back.] What I 



LOVERS' LANE 341 

Herbert. [Pleading,] How I should like to 
see him! 

Mrs. Woodbridge. No ! 

Herbert. [Following her,] Yes — let me see 
him. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. No — you shall not ! 

Herbert. [Determined.] He is my son! I 
will ! [He starts to go. She stops him. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. You shall not ! I have 
spoken in your behalf for another woman, but I 
will not share the love of my child with her hus- 
band — he belongs only to me! 

[There is a pause. Herbert bows his head and 
goes out through the gate. 

Minister. [To Mrs. Woodbridge.] My poor 
woman ! 

Mrs. Woodbridge. Oh, I am tired out — I 
didn't know what I was saying ! I don't know 



342 LOVERS' LANE 

what you think of me — but I love him in spite 
of everything — with all my heart ! 

Minister. There, there, come and take a walk 
under the trees. It will do you good. I'll go a 
little way with you. 

[They go out. Aunt Melissy enters from the 
house, followed by Uncle Bill, arguing. 

Aunt Melissy. No — I don't want anything 
more to do with you ! 

Uncle Bill. Look here, Melissy, don't break 
it off like that, so sudden-like. 

Aunt Melissy. Yes, I must. I couldn't look 
forward to a life of bickering and quarrelling like 
this — 

Uncle Bill. But if you'd only just let my 
grammar alone, Melissy — we'd be all right. 

Aunt Melissy. Yes, but your granmiar 
wouldn't be. I hate to say it to you, Mr. BUI, 



LOVERS' LANE 343 

especially in anger, but you must know that some 
people consider it a misalliance for me to marry 
you anyway. 

Uncle Bill. What's that, Melissy? 

Aunt Melissy. Marrying beneath my social 
station. [Uncle Bill tries to interrupt.] Not 
that I thiSk it, goodness knows ! 

Uncle Bill. Well, then, why not shake hands, 
kiss and make up ! 

Aunt Melissy. [Puts her hands to her ears and 
says:] H-a-y-e? 

Uncle Bill. I say why not shake hands, and 
kiss and make up ! 

[Aunt Melissy turns away from Uncle Bill. 

Aunt Melissy. No, I can't forget your spirit 
when I corrected your grammar. 

Uncle Bill. But you did it five times to 
once, Melissy. 



344 LOVERS' LANE 

Aunt Melissy. Well, you oughtn't have given 
me the chance. 

Uncle Bill. All right, then — if it's all over 
— it's over. I did lose my temper, but I'm likely 
to do it again. I guess it's better so. But I 
can't keep these here. {Handing her one slipper 
which he takes from under his vest,] You'll have 
to take yer present back. [Handing her the other 
slipper.] Perhaps you'll find somebody else that 
they'll fit, whose tongue will fit the English lan- 
guage better — [Aunt Melissy goes toward the 
gate. Uncle Bill watches her until she gets to 
the gate. Following.] Where be yer goin', Miss 
Melissy? 

Aunt Melissy. H-a-y-e? 

Uncle Bill. I say where be yer goin' ? 

Aunt Melissy. [At the gate] I'm going down 
Lovers' Lane to think. Hope it'll do me some 



LOVERS' LANE 345 

good. And you needn't wait to take me home 
after the meeting, Mr. Bill, 'cause I don't want 
yer ! [Goes of down the lane. 

Uncle Bill. [In thought at the foot of the steps 
of house.] I know what I'll do — I'll go and buy 
one of them spelling grammars first thing in the 
morning. [Goes into the house. 

Simplicity. [Rushes out from the house, carry- 
ing a mUk'pail, Mary Larkuj follomng her. Sim- 
plicity calls,] Pops! [The Minister comes 
from orchard,] Pops, here's Miss Larkin come 
to see you — says she brought something of yours 
back. 

Minister. How do you do. Miss Larkin ? 

Mary. How do you do. Doctor Singleton ? 

Minister. Where are you going, Simple? 

Simplicity. Oh, you needn't hint. Pops. I 
know two's company and three ain't allowed, but 



346 LOVERS* LANE 

I couldn't stay if I wanted. Aunt Mattie found 
a tear in my dress, and is making me milk the cow 
for punishment. 

Minister. I guess youVe worn out Aunt 
Mattie's patience. 

Simplicity. Well, the next thing I wear out 
will be that cow. [Calling back from the gaie.] 
I guess she'll wish she'd never been bom, before 
I get through milking her. 

Minister. Simple, don't forget you're a mem^ 
ber of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty 
to Animals. 

Simplicity. [Running down to the Minister.] 
Pops, when Miss Mattie gave me that there order, 
I temporarily resigned and stuck my badge on 
Bridget ! Pops, I won't do a thing to that cow ! 

[Runs out. 

Minister. Don't you hke Simple? 



LOVERS' LANE 347 

Mary. [Coming down from the porch,] Yes, 
of course I do. 

Minister. She's an orphan. Nobody could 
understand her — thought she was bad. She 
was in three asylums in two months, and after a 
while there wasn't one in the State that would 
have her — she's so sensitive, it hurts her feeUngs. 
I took her to live in the Parsonage, and now 
couldn't get along without her. 

Mary. [Going over to the bench under the tree.] 
Doctor, were you ever unkind to anybody? 

Minister. [Following Mary.] I am afraid I 
was not as kind to Mr. Woodbridge on Saturday 
as I ought to have been. 

Mary. Oh, that reminds me why I came — 
I am afraid you thought it very odd of me com- 
ing over here so often — now own up, didn't 
you. Doctor? 



348 LOVERS' LANE 

Minister. No, I don't know as I thought 
anything. I was just enjoying it without 
thinking — 

Mary. Oh, Doctor, may I Have an apple? 

Minister. Yes, indeed, you must excuse me 
for not offering you one before. [Looking up the 
tree, he sees an apple, hut it is out of his reach. He 
jumps for the apple.] Here's a beauty! 

Mary. Yes, but it's out of your reach. 

Minister. Wish it were the only thing out 
of my reach ! 

[He stands for a moment in a trance, and then goes 
to Mary. 

Mary. Nothing ought to be out of your reach, 
Doctor. And nothing would be if it only knew 
you wanted it, I'm sure. 

[Turns her face away. 

Minister. [Almost about to embrace her.] 



LOVERS' LANE 349 

Jupiter, I was forgetting about your apple ! Oh, 
here's one. 

[He stands on the bench to reach the apple, and 
hands it to Mary. 

Mary. A splendid one — have you got a knife ? 

Minister. Yes, siree — a beauty. The Dea- 
cons gave it to me two Christmases ago. 

Mary. [Handing him the apple.] Oh, a splen- 
did one — now cut it in half. 

Minister. No, I don't want any. 

Mary. Yes, you must eat half with me. 
[The Minister digs out the seeds and cuts the apple 
in half,] No, save the seeds, and we'll wish with 
them ! 

Minister. How? 

Mary. Don't you know how? I'll show you. 
Oh, you're so tall I must get up on the bench. [She 
gets on bench to reach him,] Now, close your eyes. 



3SO LOVERS' LANE 

Minister. Close my eyes — ? 

Mary. You're not afraid, are you? 

Minister. No, but if I do I can't see you. 

Mary. Never mind that — I can see you. 
Go on, now close them. [The Minister doses 
his eyes,] Now, are they tight closed — so you 
can't see a bit? [The Minister nods his head. 
She leans toward him and throws a kiss,] Now, 
come a little nearer, please. First I put an apple 
seed on each one of your eyelids. There, now 
— wish! [Short pause.] Have you wished? 

Minister. Yes, but my nose itches, — may I 
scratch it? 

Mary. [Frightened.] No! that might knock 
off the seeds. Now, wink three times, and if one 
of the seeds stays on, you'll get your wish. 

Minister. I've done it -^ are they both off? 

Mary. [Jumping down from the bench.] No, 



LOVERS' LANE 351 

they're both on — you'll get your wish! What 
was it ? 

Minister. I thought it wouldn't come true if 
I told you? 

Mary. Well, of course we're only joking. 
I'm afraid you think me a perfect child. 

Minister. Perfect? Yes. 

Mary. [Serious.] What did you wish for? 
Something for yourself? 

Minister. No, not for myself — it was for you. 
[Taking her hand.] I wished that when Spring 
comes, after all the fruits of the Autumn have been 
gathered and the dead stalks of the branches have 
been thrown away, there will come with the new 
blossoms a new Herbert Woodbridge — [releases 
her hand] giving you a new love and life worthy 
of you. And the happiness you crave. 

Mary. [Sadly.] Thank you, sir. That re- 



352 LOVERS' LANE 

minds me, I haven't told you yet why I came. 
It was to give you back your ring. 

Minister. But I thought you were going to 
keep it while you waited. 

Mary. Yes, but I have told Mr. Woodbridge 
I can never marry him. 

Minister. But you mustn't decide that too 
suddenly — I believe I was not quite fair to 
him yesterday. 

Mary. He told me everything, — things I'd 
never heard of before. I didn't think him that 
kind of a man. I thought him good like you. 

Minister. Perhaps you can make him good. 
I'm afraid I'm to blame for your feeling this way. 
Give him one more chance, won't you? 

Mary. I can't promise to marry him if I 
can't love him when he comes back. 

Minister. I don't want you to do that. 
Only give him a chance until Spring. 



LOVERS' LANE 353 

Mary. I will if you wish it. But you must 
take back the ring. 

Minister. Well, I will — but why? 

Mary. {Going toward the house,] Because, Dr. 
Singleton, I know when Herbert comes in the 
Spring my heart will not beat one bit quicker. 

Minister. Ah, you mustn't be too sure ! It 
isn't fair to him. 

Mary. I can't help it — I know now I shall 
never marry. Good-by. 

[She walks toward the porch. 

Minister. [Following her.] And my wish? 

Mary. You see, you told it, so it can't come 
true. Good-by. 

[She goes into the house. 

Minister, (iood-by. [He watches her as she 
disappears through the door.] What am I 
thinking about — I have given my promise to 
persuade her to wait till the Spring. [A pause. 



354 LOVERS' LANE 

Simplicity appears, going slowly,] Till Spring — 
[He sits on the bench,] Till Spring. {A bird sings 
in the tree, and Simplicity creeps up behind him. 
The Minister, in deep study, does not look ai her.] 
Is that you, Simple? 

Simplicity. [Half crying,] Yes, Pops. I know 
what's the matter with you. Pops ! 

Minister. There's nothing the matter with 
me. Simple. 

Simplicity. [Crying.] Pops, you're in love 
with her ! 

Minister. What makes you think so. Simple? 

Simplicity. 'Cause when she went into the 
house your eyes followed her and — Oh, Pops — 

[Throwing her arms around him and crying sUU 
louder. 

Minister. [Trying to comfort her,] Why, Simple, 
Simple dear. Why, Simple, what is it — what is it? 



LOVERS' LANE 355 

Simplicity. [Kneeling beside him — stUl 
louder.] I want to marry you myself ! 

Minister. Why, she's going to marry Mr. 
Woodbridge. Lots of us can't marry the people 
we want to. There, there, dear, I'm not going 
to marry anyone at all. [Rising.] No one at all. 

[He lifts her up. 

Simplicity. Then neither am I — I'll be an 
old maid like Miss Mattie. 

Minister. Now, wipe your eyes and cheer up. 
I've got my church to give my life to. I've got 
my church to comfort me. 

[A bird sings in the tree^ and Deacon Steele, 
Mr. and Mrs. Brown, Molly Mealey 
and Mrs. Steele enter through the gate. 

Mr. Brown. Good evenin'. Minister. 

Minister. Good evening. 

Deacon Steele. Good evening ! We've come 



3S6 LOVERS' LANE 

to see you on a serious business. Ahem I We — 
perhaps we'd better go into the house. 

Mr. Brown. There's no harm in staying 
here — it's pleasant after the close Sunday-school 
room. 

Minister. Yes, I wrote to town this evening 
for some new ventilators I saw advertised in the 
Observer, 

Mr. Brown. I think, Minister, you'd better 
send Simple in. 

Minister. Yes, you go in, Simple. Why, 
where's your milk ? 

Simplicity. [From the foot of the steps.] The 
cow kicked over the pail and spilt all the milk. 

Minister. What have you done with the pail ? 

Simplicity. Left it there. 'Causfe I thought 
like as not Miss Mattie would make me go back 
and milk her all over again. 



LOVERS' LANE 357 

[She goes into the house. Brown laughs heartily. 

Steele. What are you laughing at, Brown? 
That child grows worse every day. 

Uncle Bill. [Enters from the house.] Good 
evening — good evening ! 

Everybody. Good evening. 

Uncle Bill. Nearly time for evening meeting. 
And the bell has never rung a second late since 
old Walters took to ringing it. 

[Goes out. 

Minister. I had no idea it was so late. 

Steele. Well, Minister, as Mr. Brown told yer, 
there^s bin a meetin* of the Council this after- 
noon — 

Minister. Yes, and it hurt me a good deal 
that I wasn't wanted. 

Mattie. [Coming out from the house, with her 
bonnet and shawl on.] Good evening. 



3S8 LOVERS' LANE 

Everybody. Good evening, Miss Mattie. 

Mr. Brown. Goin' to meetin' pretty early, 
Miss Mattie. 

Mattie. Yes, I want to mend our seat cushion 
before it begins. Simple wiggles so during the 
sermon, she wears her place out in no time. 

[Goes out, 

Steele, [re? /Administer.] I guess we'd better 
be quick about what weVe come to say, Minister. 
That Council was called because of the dissatis- 
faction, ahem — the — I may say wide-spread 
dis-sat-isf action that has — ahem — that has 
been felt by your entire congregation — ahem — 
for some time. [Taking out Resoltdions from his 
pocket.] I have been deputed by the Coimdl to 
see you concerning the facts which they set forth 
with a — ahem — great generosity, as follows: 
You have encouraged beggars by taking in Aunt 



LOVERS' LANE 359 

Melissy and old Bill Walters, and given them — 
ahem — a home. You have damaged the char- 
acter of our coimty Orphan Asylimi by taking in 
your house a child which it had refused to shelter. 
You have robbed of her position the faithful 
and sweet teacher of our — [Molly weeps sUetUly. 
Mrs. Brown encourages her — peUing her] school 
to further your own ends. And for fifteen years 
you ha^e neglected — ahem — I can put this 
stronger — you have refused to take a helpmate 
from your congregation, which contains many 
well-favored women willing to help you in your 
work. 

Mr. Brown. Willing ? Anxious 1 

[Mrs. Brown takes Mr. Brown by the arm, and 
jerks him roughly to her. 

Steele. We ain't satisfied with your laxity 
and freedom. We don't want a new doctrine 



36o LOVERS* LANE 

upsettin' the old order — we don^t want a billiard 
table in the young men's club. We don't want 
playing cards in the social parlors. It's rumored 
youVe even written a sermon upholdin' the 
new-fangled doctrine of there being no such thing 
as Fire and Brimstun! You have harbored in 
your house a woman who has, of her own free will, 
sundered her marriage vow, thus bringing scandal 
on the coromunity — ahem I Do you »deny any 
of these charges? 

[The choir of the evening meeting is heard sing- 
ing. 

Minister. No. 

Steele. It is, then — my — ahem — painful 
duty to inform you that, unless Mrs. Woodbridge 
and her child leave your house at once, the Coun- 
cil feels obliged to ask — ahem — demand — 
your resignation — to take effect at once. 



LOVERS' LANE 361 

Minister. At once? But it^s time for eve- 
ning meeting now. 

Steele. [Taking off his glasses,] Deacon Frost 
has kindly volimteered to lead, if you decide to 
resign. Will you give us your answer at once? 

Minister. Yes. 

Mr. Brown. Maybe you'd like to think it 
over, Minister. If so, we will go away and come 
back. 

[He starts to go, 

Mrs. Brown. [Ptdling him back.] Oh, no we 
won't ! 

Steele. Well, what is it? 

[All breathless — impatient. 

Minister. A little while ago I said to my 
sister, the bell in that little square tower over 
there has never rung once in all these fifteen years 
for service without our little gate latching behind 



362 LOVERS' LANE 

me before the third stroke, but if it should ring 
till midnight to-night, it wouldn't fijid me one 
step nearer than I am now. 

Steele. That's not answering us. 

Minister. If I finish the sermon that's on my 
desk riow, I'm afraid it would be a plea for 
Purgatory after all — 

Steele. {To the others.] Ah, he's compromis- 
ing ! 

Minister. You want my answer — well, take 
it. I have wasted my time among you — lost 
my strength — and if you were to withdraw 
every one of your charges now, my answer would 
still be the same — I am ashamed of you all! 

Steele. Then your answer is — 

Minister. My resignation I 

[The Minister stands motionless. They all go 

« 

of through the gale. Molly Mealey sobs. 



LOVERS' LANE 363 ' 

The church hdl rings, which brings the Minis- ' 
TER to his senses. He starts toward the gate 
as if to go to church, partly opens it, and walks 
slowly hack. There is a pause, and then he 
sits down on the bench under the tree in a sort 
of dream, as 

THE CURTAIN FALLS 



ACT IV 

Scene: The orchard. The same set as for 

Act Illy only changed from an Autumn to a 

Spring morning. The apple tree is in full 

blossom. An easel and paitUing-stooly paifUs, 

brushes y etc., are on the lawn. Simplicity rfw- 

covered by the tree, examining the bark. 

Simplicity. I'm sure Pops was cutting some- 

thing on this tree. I knew it — he was cutting 

her name ! M-a-r-y — [She tries to scratch the 

letters from the tree with a knife.] There, I won't 

have her name on my apple tree. 

Mattie. [Appears at an upper window of the 
house, calling.] Simple — Simple — [Simplicity 
hides behind the tree.] I guess she's gone down to the 

364 



LOVERS* LANE 365 

village. [Speaking back into the room,] Bridget, 
you're positively the most shiftless person I ever 
knew — [Simplicity climbs up into the tree.] 
I declare to goodness you haven't done a stroke 
of work to-day. Nobody could have rheumatism 
a day like this. [Mary Larkin enters from the 
house. She goes to the easel, arranging paints, etc.] 
It's only an excuse to get out of your work. 
[Catching sight of Miss Larkin.] Oh, you found 
your way out, all right. I wish I wasn't so over- 
run with work this morning — I'd sit right here in 
the window, and you could put me in the picture. 

Mary. Thank you, but I didn't intend to do 
the house. I hope I haven't interrupted you too 
much. I tried to come across the hills through 
the gate — but I couldn't ; it was fastened. 

Mattie. Yes, siree, — when I came home from 
that meeting last Fall, led by old Deacon Frost, 



366 LOVERS' LANE 

and found out why the Minister wasn't there, I 
nailed up that gate hard with a hatchet. And 
says I to him, " Nobody goes through that gate 
again till you do, — back to your rightful place in 
the pulpit yonder." 

Mary. I don't blame you. Miss Mattie. You 
don't mind my making a sketch of your orchard, 
do you? 

Mattie. Good land, no ! 

Mary. You see, I don't know when I shall ever 
get here again, and I want a little souvenir of the 
place. 

Mattie. It's a pity you're leaving the school 
— it's just them jealous women that's making 
your life a burden here. 

Mary. Oh, no I [Begins to paint. 

Mattie. [Turning from the window and speak- 
ing back into the room,] Now, what is it, Bridget? 



LOVERS* LANE 367 

For the land's sake, put a hot raisin on it, and tie 
your cheek up with a hot cloth. But don't take 
to having the toothache too often, or I'll forbid 
you that, along with the rheumatism. [To Mary.] 
For the goodness sake. Miss Larkin, if you ever 
marry, don't have a cook in poor health. 

[Minister enters from the house as Mattie dis- 
appears from the window. 

Simplicity. [In the tree,] Don't she think 
she's smart — pretending to come here and paint 
the orchard. Who ever heard of painting an 
orchard — it's just an excuse to see Pops ! 

Minister. (Jood morning. 

[At the sound of his voice, Simplicity starts, but 
recovers quickly. The Minister looks over 
Mary's shoulder as she paints. 

Mary. [Looking up.] Good morning, Dr. 

ft 

Singleton. 



368 LOVERS' LANE 

Simplicity. [In the tree, mocking Mary,] Good 
morning, Dr. Singleton. 

Minister. [Looking at the picture,] Oh, you're 
putting us in? 

Mary. Trying to. Do you remember that 
day? 

Minister. It was just six months ago, yester- 
day. 

Mary. Yesterday — and Herbert hasn't come. 
Do you know what I heard in the village this 
morning ? 

Minister. No — what? 

Mary. [Smiling and painting,] The new 
Minister's leaving. 

Minister. What! The last one — why, he's 
only been here a month. 

Mary. I know it. But he says he can't 
stand it — there's no pleasing them. I told Mrs. 
Brown I was glad of it. 



LOVERS' LANE . 369 

Minister. You'd better look out or she won't 

let you board with her any longer. 

Mary. What do you think — she agreed with 
me I 

Minister. No! 

Mary. Yes, she did, and she said it would 
teach the people a lesson. 

Bridget. [Coming out of the house with a red 
flannel cloth tied around her face, as if suffer- 
ii^g from toothache^ If you plaze, surr, Miss 
Mattie's after asking if you're going to the post 
office? 

Minister. Yes, I'm going right away, Bridget. 

[Bridget goes back into the house. 

Mary. Doctor, will you ask if there are any 
letters for me too, please? 

Minister. Yes. I know from whom you 
mean. A letter or he must come to-day. 

[He goes toward the house. 



370 LOVERS' LANE 

Mary. Good-by. 

[The Minister Purns at the porch. 

Minister. Good-by. 

Mary. Good-by! 

Simplicity. [In the tree, mockingly.] Good- 
by — it's about time she went back to her own 
town to live ! Anyhow, I'm going to get Pops 
out of her head. 

[StMenly jumps from the tree, frightening Mary. 

Mary. Oh, how you frightened me ! 

Simplicity. Did I — what 'cher doing? 

{Going over to Mary. 

Mary. Painting. 

Simplicity. What? 

Mary. The orchard — don't you see? 

Simplicity. [Coming behind her, and looking 
over Mary's shoulder, she rubs her finger on the 
canvas^ What's that? 



LOVERS' LANE 371 

Mary. Oh, please be careful — you'll spoil it. 

Simplicity. [SidkUy.\ 'Scuse me ! 

Mary. That's the bench under the tree, with 
Dr. Singleton on it. 

Simplicity. Who's that going to be by him — 
Mis' Woodbridge? 

Mary. No, I am on the bench. [After a 

» 

pause.] Simple, what made you think it was Mrs. 
Woodbridge? 

Simplicity. 'Cause Pops is in love with her. 
[Waiting to see the effect.] I say Pops is in love 
with Mrs. Woodbridge. That's why he took 
up for her against the church. I guess they'll be 
married soon. 

Mary. [Rising from the stool.] I don't believe 
it! 

Simplicity. Don't you? That's because you're 
in love with him yourself. ' 



372 LOVERS' LANE 

Mary. How dare you say that — how dare 
you ? You're a bad, impudent little girl — that's 
what you are ! 

Simplicity. I thought I'd make you mad 
before I got through. Everybody sees you're 
in love with him. 

Mary. [Half crying — very angry,] You've 
no right to say such a thing ! Suppose he had 
heard you? I — I — I hate you ! [Going up to 
the picture.] Simplicity, I hate you — I hate 
you! You'll see if I love him. [She takes her 
palette knife from the easel, and zig-zags across the 
picture,] There, there, there! I wouldn't do 
that if I loved him ! And you can tell everybody 
who's said so that I love Herbert — Woodbridge, 
and that he's coming to marry me to-day. Oh, 
you spiteful little thing — I hate you — I hate 
you! 



LOVERS' LANE 373 

[She drops the knife and rushes away through the 

trees. 
Simplicity. \Watches her out of sight; then she 
picks up the camp stool and knocks down the easel,] 
I hate you too — I hate you ! I Ve separated you 
and Pops, but I wish I was dead ! 

[She throws herself on the bench and sobs vio- 
lenity. Mrs. Brown, carrying a parasol, 
and Miss Mealey appear at the gate, trying 
to open it, but cannot. 
Miss Mealey. I can't open it. 
Mrs. Brown. Let me try — you haven't 
strength enough to kill a mosquito. 

[She struggles with the locked gate, but fails to 

open it. The noise arouses Simplicity. 
Simplicity. You can't get in that way — Miss 
Mattie's nailed Lovers' Lane up. 
Mrs. Brown. [From the other side of the 



374 LOVERS' LANE 

gate, very sweetly.] Oh, Simplicity, how do you 
do? 

Miss Mealey. How do you do? 

Simplicity. [Not moving from the bench.] My 
health's pretty good, I thank you. You'll have 
to go around to the front if you want to get in. 

Mrs. Brown. Oh, dear 1 We haven't time to 
do that. 

Miss Mealey. Perhaps if Miss Mattie knew 
what we come for, she'd let us in this way. 

Simplicity. Well, I'll call her. Miss Mattie 
— Miss Mattie — Miss Mattie ! 

[She runs into the house. 

Mrs. Brown. [Still outside the gate.] Now, 
Molly Mealey, for Heaven's sake, don't make a 
fool of yourself like the last time you were here. 
Throwing out hints to Dr. Singleton, after being 
snubbed by everyone of those new preachers 1 



LOVERS' LANE 375 

You ought to begin to see the Lord never intended 
you for a minister's wife. 

Miss Mealey. I wish you'd mind your own 
business, Mrs. Brown. Just because you're the 
mother of seven, you needn't think nobody else 
can have a chance — I'm something of a flirt, 
but I'm not fickle ! 

[Mattie comes from the house, 

Mrs. Brown. [At the gate, very pleasantly.] 
Good morning, Miss Mattie. 

Mattie. {Shortly \ How do you do ? 

Mrs. Brown. We just thought we'd drop in. 

Mattie. It's taken you about six months to 
think it. 

Miss Mealey. Can we get in this way? 

Mattie. Yes. 

Miss Mealey and Mrs. Brown. [Very 
pleased^] 0-oh! 



376 LOVERS' LANE 

Mattie. If you can climb I 

Mrs. Brown. Oh, now, Miss Mattie ! 

Mattie. No, siree. When you shut that gate 
against the Minister, you shut it against your- 
selves too. 

Mrs. Brown. But weVe come to open it 
again for him, now. 

Mattie. What? 

Miss Mealey. And we've come to ask if 
you'll let the Sewing Circle meet here next week? 

Mattie. Why? 

Mrs. Brown. And the choir wants to know if 
Mrs. Woodbridge will be willing to sing again, 
beginning next Sunday? 

Mattie. Good land ! 

Miss Mealey. Do let the Sewing Circle meet 
here, Miss Mattie ! 

Mattie. Is the world coming to an end? 



LOVERS' LANE 377 

Mrs. Brown. And do try and make Mis' 
Woodbridge sing ! 

Mattie. Well, I am — Uncle Bill — Uncle Bill ! 

Uncle Bill. [From the house] Yes? 

Mattie. Come here and see if you can open 
Lovers' Lane gate. 

Uncle Bill. [Comes out to open the gate] 
Good day, Mis' Brown and Miss Mealey. 

[He tries the gate to see how it is nailed. 

Mrs. Brown and Miss Mealey. Good 
morning. Uncle BiU. 

Mattie. [Calling,} Bridget — Bridget! 

Bridget. [Com^s to the door] Yes'm. 

Mattie. Tell Aunt Melissy to bring a hatchet. 

Bridget. All right, marm — I will. 

[Goes in, 

Mattie. [Going over to the gate, too] I'll get 
the gate open, and then we can talk it over. 



378 LOVERS' LANE 

Mrs. Brown. We've come to tell you, too, 
there's a Council being held in the Sunday-school 
room, and Brown told me, confidential, he thought 
they were going to draw up Resolutions b^ging 
Dr. Singleton to come back. 

[Aunt Melissy comes, bringing the haichet. She 
has the slippers also. 

Mattie. [Following Aunt Melissy. Uncle 
Bill takes the hatchet from Aunt Melissy, and 
works at the gate.] It's about time ! 

Uncle Bill. The Minister coming back? 

[He sings ^^ Glory, glory. Hallelujah I" as the gate 
gives way. 

Mattie. [Holds the gate open and then aU^ 
except Uncle Bill and Aunt Melissy, come 
through on their way to the house.] I think we'll 
go right into the setting-room and talk things over. 

Mrs. Brown. Yes — let's. 



LOVERS' LANE 379 

Miss Mealey. Is Dr. Singleton there? 

[Aunt Melissy goes over and sits on the bench. 

Mattie. No — he's gone down to the post 
office — don't know as he'll be willing to go back 
to the church. He feels dreadfully injured at the 
way he's been treated. 

[They ally except Aunt Melissy and Uncle 
Bill, go in the house. 

Uncle Bill.' [Going to bench, as if to sit down 
by Aunt Melissy. Sees no room, so moves around 
her to the other side,] I think I'll sit down a spell, 
if there ain't no objections. 

Aunt Melissy. H-a-y-e — 

Uncle Bill. I say I think I'll sit down a spell, 
if there ain't no objections. [Sitting beside her. 

Aunt Melissy. I'll be glad to have you, Mr. 
Bill. 

Uncle Bill. [Opening the grammar,] I've 



38o LOVERS' LANE 

been studying this yere grammar for nigh onto 
six months — and don't seem to get on very well 
with it. 

Aunt Melissy. [Playing with the slippers,] 
Never mind the grammar, Billy. Grammar isn't 
everything. Will you take the slippers back? 
You see, I've kep' 'em. 

Uncle Bill. [Taking them,] I'll wear them 
next my heart. 

Aunt Melissy. Yes, I was a silly old woman — 

Uncle Bill. No, you wasn't. [Rising and 
walking toward the gate.] Come along with me 
down Lovers' Lane. I want to find out if it's 
true they're going to ask the Minister to come 
back. And if it is, I'm going to ring the old bell 
for him and for us. 

Herbert. [Enters at the gate,] Is Dr. Single- 
ton in ? 



LOVERS' LANE 381 

Uncle Bill. No. But he will be, soon. How- 
somever, this ain't the front door. 

[Aunt Melissy rises and follows Uncle Bill. 
Herbert. No, but they told me this was a 
short cut from the depot, and I'm in a hurry. 
[Uncle Bill and Aunt Melissy go out through 
the gate, humming " Comin* through the Rye " 
in discord. Herbert knocks at the door of the 
house. 
Bridget. [Calling from the window above.] 
Who's down there? [Herbert comes out to the 
steps y and when she sees him she says :] Ah — we 
don't want to buy anything. 

Herbert. [Looking up.\ I haven't anything 
to sell. Is Dr. Singleton at home? 

Bridget. Oh, it's a caller yer are ? I axes your 
pardon, but yer shouldn't come around to the 
back door. The Minister's out. 



382 LOVERS' LANE 

Herbert. When will he be back? 

Bridget. Sure, it's like to be at any minute. 
Will yez come in ? 

Herbert. No, I'll wait here if I may — 

Bridget. You may. 

[Leaves the window. 

Mary. [Coming down through the orchard,] 
Herbert ! — [She is startled, hut recovers herself.] 
You have come back. 

Herbert. Yes, Mary — [He puts oui his hand 
— she takes it.] I went to East Eddysville, and 
they said you were living at Eddys Corners. 

Mary. I came over this morning to do a 
sketch of the orchard, because — because — I 
thought soon, perhaps, I'd be going away for 
good, and I wanted something to remember — 
Herbert, I know when you went away I promised 
to marry you. I can't do it — don't ask me to ! 



LOVERS' LANE 383 

Herbert. What do you mean, Mary? 

Mary. I don't love you any longer. 

Herbert. Mary, I have been dreading for 
weeks confessing to you, but now you have made 
it easy for me. 

Mary. Made what? 

Herbert. I Ve done pretty well — I Ve finished 
with most of the old life. I felt I ought to tell you 
when I came back, I hadn't done it all for you. 
I never loved you as a man should love a woman 
whom he asks to marry him. I know you will 
probably despise me — I have been turned adrift 
by my wife whom, in spite of everything, I love 
and always will love. I was lonely and hard up 
and liked you, and your money would have 
pulled me out of a bad hole. Do you believe 
such a man as that could ever come to anything ? 

Mary. Yes — Dr. Singleton says there is good 



384 LOVERS' LANE 

in everybody, only sometimes other bodys won't 
take the time or trouble to find it out. 

Herbert. Dr. Singleton says — Mary, is it 
Dr. Singleton who has made this orchard dear to 
you? / 

Mary. It isn't fair to ask me that — 

Herbert. Why not? We must seal our 
friendship — you and I — with our confidences. 
I shall have something to tell you. 

Mary. But Dr. Singleton does not care for 
me. 

Herbert. You mean he hasn't shown you his 
love — that's my fault. I say he loved you the 
day he gave you the ring in his study. I saw he 
loved you. • 

Mary. No — no! You're wrong. He is go- 
ing to marry — 

Herbert. Who? 



LOVERS' LANE 385 

Mary. Can't you guess? 
Herbert. Lucy? 
Mary. Yes. 

Herbert. Why did I never think of it ? Why 
did I never see that danger? 

[Herbert sees Mrs. Woodbridge at the window. 
He moves closer to the house so as not to be seen. 
Little Dick appears at the window, too. 
Herbert. And IVe been hoping she might 
try to forgive me — but it's only just — only 
just — 
[He breaks off to listen. Mrs. Wqodbridge is 
singing a song to Dick. Herbert touches 
Mary to listen. 
Mary. Sh — sh — there she is. 
Herbert. My boy, my boy I Do you think 
she's coming out here? I'd rather go away with- 
out her seeing me. 



378 LOVERS* LANE 

Mrs. Brown. We've come to tell you, too, 
there's a Council being held in the Sunday-school 
room, and Brown told me, confidential, he thought 
they were going to draw up Resolutions begging 
Dr. Singleton to come back. 

[Aunt Melissy comes y bringing the haicheU She 
has the slippers also, 

Mattie. [Following Aunt Melissy. Uncle 
Bill takes the hatchet from Aunt Melissy, and 
works at the gate.] It's about time ! 

Uncle Bill. The Minister coming back? 

[He sings ^^ Glory, glory y Hallelujah I*' as the gate 
gives way. 

Mattie. [Holds the gate open and then aU, 
except Uncle Bill and Aunt Melissy, come 
through on their way to the house.] I think we'll 
go right into the setting-room and talk things over, 

Mrs. Brown. Yes — let's. 



LOVERS' LANE 387 

Mary. Yes, it is. 

[Helps UtUe Dick down one or two steps ; leaves 
him with his father, turning back into house. 

Herbert. [Kneeling and holding out his hands 
to Dick.] Is your name Dick? [Dick nods his 
heady "Fe^."] You aren't afraid of me? [Dick 
makes no answer.] Why, of course not — [Dick 
shakes his head, ^^No*^; then, with a sudden im- 
pulsey goes toward his father.] Why, I wouldn't hurt 
you. [Kneelingy he takes the child in his arms, and 
clasps him to him with emotion.] Why, I'm your 
— Fm yoiu: — My God! — What am I to say? 
I'm your friend — your friend — [He holds the 
boy before him.] There now, you're taller than I 
am, aren't you ? I thought you were a little lame 
boy — you were once, weren't you ? [Dick nods 
"Yes.''] I thought so — I thought so — It's 
your mother who has done all this for you — I 



388 LOVERS' LANE 

thought so! You can never love your mother 
enough! Do you hear that? Never! When 
you grow up, you must love her just the same, and 
when she grows old, you must hold her close to 
your heart — and cherish her always — will you ? 
Will you, Dick? {Dkk nods ''Yes:'] Ah, you 
don't understand all that, do you, my boy? 
pDiCK shakes his head.] No, and you don't know 
what it is to see something you want with all your 
soul belong to another, and know that you threw 
her away. Dick — Dick — listen, my little man ! 
Do you ever hear of a father ? {Dick nods " Yes^] 
And your mother lets you speak of him? {He 
nods "Fe5."] When? \Dicyl folds his UtUe hands 
together.] When you pray? When you — Oh, 
my God 1 {He breaks down. Dick pushes away^ 
frightened.] There — there, TVe been frightening 
you. Don't be frightened of me — because I 
want you to kiss me — will you? I want you 



LOVERS' LANE 389 

to put your two arms around my neck — around 
my neck, — just as you do about your mother's. 
Will you, Dick? 

[Mrs. Woodbridge appears on the porch. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. Herbert! 

Herbert. [The child runs to Mrs. Wood- 
bridge.] Lucy ! 

Mrs. Woodbridge. You see he is well — quite 
well. 

Herbert. Yes — you won't begrudge me my 
moment with him, will you? 

Mrs. Woodbridge. \With her arm around 
Dick.] Begrudge you? — 

Herbert. I didn't mean you should have seen 
me. I meant to have just spoken to Dick, and 
then stolen away. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. You didn't want me to see 
you? 

Herbert. No. 



390 LOVERS' LANE 

Mrs. Woodbridge. I understand you came 
back for Mary Larkin, and you find she belongs 
to Dr. Singleton? 

Herbert. Not belongs — Lucy — Mrs. — 

Mrs. Woodbridge. Why not? They love 
each other — 

Herbert. But slie just told me he loves you. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. Me? — Oh, no! What 
made her tell you that ? 

Herbert. I don't know. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. Then it wasn't for her you 
came back? 

Herbert. No. I came back for you ! 

[Mrs. Woodbridge starts. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. For me? Is it true — is 
it true — [The tears come to her eyes. 

Herbert. [Leads her to the bench, and sits beside 
her.] Am I worth trying to save? 



LOVERS' LANE 391 

[Mrs. Woodbridge nods her head, ''Yes.''] 

Herbert. [Taking her hand gently.] Lucy — I 
don't deserve it. I have turned over a new leaf, 
and with you to help me, I'll never turn this page 
back. [There is a pause. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. [Withdraws her hand, and 
rises.] Won't you come and walk with Dick and 
me down Lovers' Lane? 

Herbert. [Hesitating and smiling at Dick.] 
Yes — yes — or — no — we'll make a chair — 
have you forgotten ? 

[They cross hands, forming a saddle, and kneel so 
Dick can reach. 

Mrs. Woodbridge. Now — sit down. Put one 
arm around mother's neck and one arm around — 

Herbert. Mine — there — that's a dandy 
chair for you — 

[They lift him up and carry him through the gate, 



392 LOVERS' LANE 

down Lovers^ Lane. Mrs. Brown, Miss 
Mealey and Mattie enter from house. 

Mrs. Brown. I must say, it has seemed real 
good to be sitting in the Parsonage again. 

Mattie. Well — I'm sure you've your own 
self to thank for not having been here of tener — ! 
[Calling to the house.] Simplicity! What's got 
into the child? 

[Simplicity enters, holding one hand behind her 
back. 

Mattie. Take your thumb out of your mouth I 
Well, where on earth have you been? 

Simplicity. Up in the garret. 

Mattie. What were you doing up there? 

Simplicity. Sitting in a corner. 

Mattie. Good land 1 — where's Mrs. Brown's 
parasol — she says she gave it to you to put away 
for her — 



LOVERS' LANE 393 

Simplicity. {Takes the parasol from behind her 
hack. Mattie grabs it and hands it to Mrs. 
Brown.] I took it upstairs with me without 
thinking — I'm sorry — 

Mattie. She says she's sorry! What's come 
over the child? 

Mrs. Brown. You ain't sick, air you, Simple? 

Simplicity. No, marm. {Running to the gate,] 
I'll open the gate fur yer. 

Mrs. Brown. {Going to the gate.] Thank you. 
Simple. 

Miss Mealey. And the Circle can meet here 
next Thursday? 

Mattie. I suppose so. 

Miss Mealey. Thank you ever so much. Miss 
Mattie. Good-by. 

Mattie. Good-by. 

Mrs. Brown. {Outside the gate] Good-by ! 



394 LOVERS' LANE 

[Goes down Lovers* Lane, Mattie goes into 
the house. 

Miss Mealey. [To Simplicity.] What a big 
girl you're getting Simple — you'll be havin'a 
beau soon, takin' you home from church. 

[Goes otUy laughing. 

Simplicity. [Closing the gate,] I don't want 
any beau. 

[The Minister enters from the house with a letter. 

Minister. [Looks over to where the easel stood.] 
Miss Larkin — has she finished already ? I'll ask 
Mattie. 

[Going toward the home. 

Simplicity. [Calls after him,] Pops — 

Minister. Hello — what is it? 

Simplicity. Who are you looking for, Pops? 

Minister. Miss Larkin. 

Simplicity. What do you want her for, Pops? 



LOVERS' LANE 395 

Minister. I've got a letter that'll interest her. 
The young man that wants to marry her will be 
here to-day. 

Simplicity. Oh — Pops! Mrs. Brown and 
Miss Mealey have been here, to have the Sewing 
Circle meet here again. 

Minister. You don't say so ! 

Simplicity. And I believe you're going ter get 
your church back again. 

Minister. Simple, I'd rather have that than 
anything else in the world — except one other 
thing — 

Simplicity. I don't suppose that other thing's 
me — is it. Pops? 

Minister. No — I've got you, anyway. We 
can't have everything we want in this world. 

Simplicity. I know that too, Pops. Which 
would you rather have, Pops — the church or her ? 



396 LOVERS' LANE 

Minister. You mustn't tempt me, Simple, 
with such questions. 

Simplicity. Pops — why isn't there a com- 
mandment, **Thou shalt not lie"? 

Minister. Perhaps the Lord didn't think one 
necessary, Simple. 

Simplicity. Then he doesn't know me. 
*'Thou shalt not lie, or thou shalt wish thou were 
dead." Pops, did you ever tell a lie? 

Minister. Yes, a good many when I was little. 

Simplicity. Oh, Pops — I'm so glad! Lies 
that hurt other people? 

Minister. No, they hurt only myself. 

[Mattie comes from the house. Brown enters 
from the gate, 

Mr. Brown. [Over the gate,] Good morning, 
Doctor. 

Minister. Good morning. 



LOVERS' LANE 397 

Mattie. Good morning. Come in — the 
gate's open. 

Mr. Brown. {Surprised, enters, looks back at the 
gate and shakes his head gladly.] Glad to hear it — 

Simplicity. Pops, I'm going down into the 
orchard. If you'll give me Miss Larkin's letter, 
I'll give it to her. 

Minister. I forgot all about it — she'll be 
anxious to know ! Do, Simple ! 

[He gives her the letter. 

Simplicity. [Goes behind the tree, keeping her 
eyes on the Minister. She tears up the letter and 
throws it on the ground.] There ! 

{She runs of. 

Mr. Brown. Ahem 1 {Very nervously.] Doc- 
tor — we — I — 

Minister. Yes? 

Mattie. For goodness' sake — Mr. Brown, say 



398 LOVERS' LANE 

it right out, or I will ! [To Minister.] There's 
— there's a Council being held over there in the 
Sunday-school room to consider — can't you 
guess, Tom? 

Minister. I'm afraid to — 

Mattie. You needn't be — it's asking you to 
come back. 

Mr. Brown. [Still nervously,] I've come over 
to find out if you'll be likely to accept. Of course, 
it ain't decided yet — it ain't been put to a vote, 
and we don't know exactly how the majority will 
stand, but I think you'll get it — 

Mattie. [Whispering to the Minister.] 
Frighten him a little — go on — don't jump at 
it — 

Minister. Well, Mr. Brown, there are a few 
points I'd like to make about that paper you 
drew up. 



LOVERS' LANE 399 

Mr. Brown. The Council has thought of that, 
and has decided what to do in case they ask your 
acceptance of the pulpit. 

Minister. First, how about my encouraging 
beggars, by giving old Aunt Melissy a home ? 

Mr. Brown. We thought of tiying to make up 
for that by making her an honorary member of 
the Ladies' Sewing Circle. 

Minister. Will you kindly make a note of 
that, Mr. Brown? And I would like to have her 
made Treasurer. 

Mr. Brown. [Startted.] Treasurer? Why, 
Mrs. Brown is Treas — 

Minister. I said Treasurer. Second, how 
about my having damaged the Orphan Asylums 
of the State — ? 

Mr. Brown. WeVe made certain arrange- 
ments with them, and each Asylum shall send 



400 LOVERS' LANE 

you a written application for the privilege of 
taking care of Simplicity. 

Minister. Very good. Of course we wouldn't 
think of parting with Simple, but I shall see 
that each one of the Asylums is supplied with 
a good, troublesome orphan in her place. But 
there is one really serious thing — the Council 
dared to accuse me of neglecting my duty. 

Mr. Brown. That, they realize, wam't true 
and warn't desarved? 

Minister. If they want me — 

Mr. Bro\vn. Well? 

Minister. 1^11 come back — 

Mr. Brown. [Shaking his hand heartily.] 
Thank you, Doctor — you'll come back — you'll 
come back — or, drat it, I'll give up my pew! 

[He hurries ojj through the gate. Mattie fans 
herself furiously with her apron. 



LOVERS' LANE 401 

Minister. Mattie! 

Mattie. \With excitement,] Eh? 

Minister. Kiss me. 

Mattie. [Kisses him. Half crying with joy, 
she fans furiotisly,] I'm so glad ! 

Minister. [With happy excitement, looking 
down Lovers^ Lane.] Do you think the Council 
will call me? 

Mattie. If they don't, I'll burst— [The 
Minister walks up and down with emotion,] 
I'm going into the house to work, or I can't 
stand it. [She goes into the house. 

Simplicity. [Comes through the orchard, lead- 
ing Mary, who is very nervous,] You hide behind 
that tree — anyone can tell the whole thing by 
your face. [Mary hides. Then Simplicity turns 
to Minister, stolidly.] Pops — I'm a liar — 

Minister. [Stunned.] Good gracious. Simple ! 



402 LOVERS' LANE 

Simplicity. [Standing her ground,] It's true. 
And IVe come to tell you that I'm going back 
to the Asylum for pimlshment. . 

[She starts to go. He catches her by her dress 
and holds her fast. 

Minister. Never, Simple, never — I wouldn't 
let you! 

Simplicity. Do you forgive me for the lie? 

Minister. Yes. 

Simplicity. But it hurt you. 

Minister. Me? [Surprised. 

Simplicity. Oh, you don't forgive that — 
[Crying.] You don't forgive that? 

Minister. [Beseechingly.] Yes, I do, dear, 
yes, I do! 

Simplicity. Then kiss me. [He kisses her, 
watching her wonderingly.] I'm so sorry — I'm 
so sorry — but I've owned up, Pops — I've 



LOVERS' LANE 403 

owned up 1 [She goes to the tree and brings Mary 
to the Minister.] Look what I've brought you. 

Minister. [Bewildered,] Where's Herbert? 

Mary. [Shyly] With Mrs. Woodbridge. 

Minister. With Mrs. Woodbridge? 

Mary. Yes, it was for her he came back. 

Minister. And you? 

Mary. [Hesitating] Simplicity says — 

Simplicity. I told her — I told her — 

[She moves away to the tree, hut watches them 
wistfully. 

Minister. \Whispering to Mary.] That I 
love you — 

Mary. No, that / love you. 

Minister. Will you say "yes"? 

Mary. With all my heart. 

[He clasps her hands in his, 

Mattie. [From the window above] For the 



404 LOVERS' LANE 

land's sake, look at old Deacon Perkins trying 
to run across the field ! 

Simplicity. [Running out of the gate,] Just 
look — there's Mr. Brown and Deacon Steele 

• 

and Mrs. Brown and a lot of them all rujining 
over here. 
[The Minister and Mary laugh and run toward 
the gate to see. As Brown approaches, 
followed by Mrs. Brown, Molly Mealey, 
Mrs. Steele, Mrs. Jennings, and Deacon 
Steele, Mattie comes from the house with 
Bridget, and the schoolchildren run in 
through the gate^ all out of breath, 
Mr. Brown. [At the gate,] When I motion, 
throw up your hat, — it's the signal for Uncle 
Bill to ring the bell. [To Minister, with sat- 
isfaction,] They're all a-comin'. The vote's 
unanimous — will you say " yes " ? 



LOVERS' LANE 405 

Minister. With all my heart! 

Brown. {Excitedly shaking hands,] Hooray! 

[He throws up his hat. The church bell rings. 
Mattie, Simplicity — all join in, cheering and 
shaking hands with each other all around, as 

THE CURTAIN FALLS 



NATHAN HALE 

A PLAY IN FOUR ACTS 



Copyright, 1899, 
By little, brown, AND COMPANY. 

ALL RIGHTS RBSBRVBD. 



This play is fully protected by the copyright law, all requirements of 
which have been complied with. In its present printed form it is dedi- 
cated to the reading public only, and no performance of it, either pro- 
fessional or amateur, may be given without the written permission of 
the owner of the acting rights, who may be addressed in care of the 
publishers. Little, Brown, and Company. 



TO 

NAT C. GOODWIN 

AND 

MAXINE ELLIOTT 

IN GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE OF 

AS HAPPY A " FIRST NIGHT " AS EVER WAS ! 

C. F., 1899. 



NATHAN HALE 



ACT FIRST. April, 1775. The Union Grammar School- 
house in New I^ndon, Connecticut, 

ACT SECOND. September, 1776. At Colonel KnowU 
torCs housej Harlem Heights, 

ACT THIRD. September, 1776. The First Scene. The 
tavern of the Widow Chichester, I-ong Island, 

The Second Scene. Outside the tavern, early the 
next morning, 

ACT FOURTH. The Next Night. The First Scene. 
The tent of a British Officer, 

The Second Scene. The orchard on Colonel Rut- 
ger's farm (now Pike and Monroe Streets, New 
York). 



CHARACTERS 



Nathan Hale. Vale, 1773* 
Guy Fitzroy. 
Lieut. Col. Knowlton. 
Capt. Adams. 
Cunningham. 
Ebenezer Lebanon. 
Tom Adams. 

William Hull. YaU^ n73* 
The Jefferson Boy. 
The Talbot Boy. 
Jasper. 
Sentinel. 
Three Soldiers. 
Alice Adams. 
Mistress Knowlton. 
Angelica Knowlton. 
The Widow Chichester. 

Schoolboys, Schoolgirls, Soldiers, Townsmen, and 
Townswomen. • 



Originally produced in Chicago, 111., on January 
31, 1898. On January 2, 1899, the play was 
brought to the Knickerbocker Theatre, New York. 

Nathan Hale (Yale, 1773) .... Mr. N. C. Goodwin 

Guy Fitzroy Mr. William Ingersol 

Lieut. Colonel Knowlton Mr. Thomas Oberle 

Capt. Adams Mr. Qarence Handyside 

Cunningham Mr. Neil O'Brien 

Ebenezer Lebanon Mr. Louis Payne 

Tom Adams Mr. Richard Sterling 

William Hull (Yale, 1773) Mr^ M. J. Beane 

The Jefferson Boy Master Ralph 

The Talbot Boy Mr. Henry Lewis 

Jasper Mr. Qarence Montaine 

Sentinel Mr. Charles Budd 

Schoolboys, soldiers, and townsmen. 

Alice Adams Miss Maxine Elliott 

Mistress Knowlton Miss Estelle Mortimer 

Angelica Knowlton Miss Gertrude Elliott 

The Widow Chichester Miss Hattie Russell 

Schoolgirls and townswomen. 



ACT THE FIRST 

The Union Grammar Schoolhouse, New London, 
Connecticut, in 1775. It is a simple room with 
a door on the left side. At the hack are two 
smallish windows, through which are seen trees 
and the blue sky; between them is a big black- 
board. At the right of the room is a small, 
slightly raised platform, on which is the teacher^ s 
desk; on the latter are papers, quUl pens, an old 
ink-well, pamphlets and books, A large globe 
of the world stands beside the platform. On the 
wall behind, hangs a ^'birch,^^ In front of the 
platform, and to one side, is a three-legged dunce's 
stool, unoccupied for the present. Two long, low 
benches for the classes are placed beneath the 

blackboard, and the desks and benches for the 

417 



4i8 NATHAN HALE 

scholars are placed on the left, facing the teacher's 
platform. It is toward noon of a sunny day, and 
the music of ^^ Yankee Doodle" is in the air. 
As the curtain rises, a very badly drawn, absurd 
picture is seen on the blackboard, representing 
the boys on the ice pond of Boston Common, 
with their thumbs to their noses, driving away the 
British army! Alice Adams is by the black- 
board, finishing this drawing. Miss Adams is 
one of the older pupils, somewhat of a hoyden, 
already a liUle of a woman, lovely to look upon, 
and altogether a charming, natural girl, full of 
high spirits. All the scholars are half out of their 
places, and they are laughing, shouting, talking 
and gesticulating. Above the din, a Boy's 
voice is heard, 

Talbot Boy. [In warning,] Quick, Alice! 
Teacher ! 



NATHAN HALE 419 

[There is a wild scramble for their places, and, 
just as Lebanon enters, sudden silence reigns. 
All pretend to be absorbed in their books, but 
keep one eye on Lebanon and the blackboard, 
till he, following their glances, discovers fe 
drawing. 
Lebanon. [A prim and youthftd assistant 
teacher, with a pompous manner, intended to deceive 
his pupils.] Who drew that picture? [There is 
silence.] Who drew this picture? [No one re- 
plies, and only a few suppressed giggles are heard.] 
I will keep you all after hours till the boy con- 
fesses. 

Alice. [Interrupts mischievously.] Perhaps it 
was a girl, sir. 

[The children giggle and snicker. 

Lebanon. No interruptions ! I will keep you 

all in till the boy confesses. PL,ebanon looks 



420 NATHAN HALE 

about expectantly; nobody speaks.] I am in 
earnest. 

Talbot Boy. It wasn't a boy; it was Alice 
Adams. 

[The scholars hiss and cry "Shame ! Shame I" 

Lebanon. Miss Alice Adams, stand up. 
[Alice rises.] Is that true? 

Alice. [Biting her lips to keep from laugking.] 
Yes, sir. 

Lebanon. [To Alice.] Sit down. [She does 
so, very leisurely, — To the Boy,] Well, Master 
Talbot, you deserve to be punished more than 
Miss Adams, for telling on a fellow pupil, and on a 
girl, too. I shall report you both to Mr. Hale. 

Tom Adams. [Alice's younger brother,] Please 
tell him I did it, sir, instead of my sister. Mr. 
Hale's always pimishing Alice ! 

Alice. No, Mr. Lebanon, that wouldn't be 



NATHAN HALE 421 

fair, sir. Besides, I want Mr. Hale to know how 
well I can draw. 

[Smiling mischievously. All the scholars laugh. 

Lebanon. [Raps on the table,] Silence ! That 
is enough. We will now begin the session in the 
usual manner by singing "God Save the King." 
[A knock on the door. All the scholars are excited 
and curious,] Master Adams, please open the 
door. [Tom goes to the door and opens it; all the 
children looking over the tops of their hooks curi- 

m 

ously,] Everybody's eyes on their books ! 

[Ecu:h one holds his book up before his face be- 
tween him or her and Lebanon. 

[Mrs. Knowlton and Angelica enter, Mrs. 
Knowlton is a handsome, but rather voluble 
and nervous lady, an undetermined trifie, 
past middle age. Her daughter, Angelica, 
is a pretty, quaint little creature, with a senti- 



422 NATHAN HALE 

mental bearing; she is dressed in the top of the 

fashion, Lebanon rises, and Tom returns 

to his place, 

Alice. [Half rising in surprise, and sitting 

again immediately,] Well! Angelica KnowltonI 

What are you doing here? 

Lebanon. [Raps on his desk with his rider,] 
Miss Adams ! [Angelica throws Alice a kiss. 
Mrs. Knowlton. Is this Mr. Hale? 
[Alice gives a litUe explosion of laughter, which 
is at once followed by giggles from all the chil- 
dren, Lebanon raps again sharply, 
Lebanon. No, madam, I am Mr. Lebanon, 
Mr. Hale's assistant. 

[Alice coughs very importantly. 

Mrs. Knowlton. I wrote Mr. Hale I would 

visit his schoolhouse to-day, with my daughter, 

Angelica, to arrange for her becoming a pupil. 



NATHAN HALE 423 

[Bringing Angelica slighUy forward with one 
hand; Angelica is embarrassed, and plays ner- 
vously with her parasol.] Her cousin, Miss Adams, 
is already a scholar, and it will be well for the girls 
to be together. Angelica, dear, stop fiddling with 
your parasol; you make my nerves quite jumpy ! 

Lebanon. Mr. Hale will be here in one mo- 
ment, madam. Won't you be seated, meanwhile? 

Mrs. Knowlton. Thank you, yes. Be care- 
ful of your dress, when you sit, Angelica — don't 
make any more creases than are absolutely 
necessary ! 

[They sit carefully in chairs placed for them by 
Lebanon beside the desk, 

Lebanon. Your daughter is a most intelligent 
appearing yoimg lady, madam. I look forward 
with pleasure to instructing her. 

Mrs. Knowlton. Thank you, sir, but it's 



424 NATHAN HALE 

only fair to tell you her appearances are deceitful. 
She is painfully backward in everything but 
spelling, and her spelling's a disgrace to the 
family. Angelica, dear, untie your bonnet 
strings; you'll get a double chin in no time if 
you're not more careful 1 

[Alice Adams lifts her hand. 
Lebanon. What is it. Miss Adams? 
Alice. Please, may I go and kiss my aunt and 
cousin how d' you do? 

[The scholars giggle softly. 
Mrs. Knowlton. That will not be at all 
necessary, Mr. Lebanon. 

Lebanon. You must wait until recess, Miss 
Adams. Now, attention, please ! 

[The scholars all shut their books, which they have 
made a pretense of studying, and rise withotU 
noise. 



NATHAN HALE 425 

Mrs. Knowlton. [To Angelica.] Do you 
like this teacher, my darling ? 

Angelica. I think he is beautiful, mother. 

Mrs. Knowlton. Well, that is scarcely the 
adjective I should use ; harmless would be better, 
I think. Cross your feet, my dear; it looks much 
more ladylike. 

Lebanon. [Rising.] Ready! [He strikes a 
tuning fork on the desk, motions three times with his 
finger, and at the third stroke all begin to sing "God 
Save the KingJ*^ Mrs. Knowlton and Angelica 
rise and sing. All sing except Tom Adams. 
After the first line, Lebanon stops them,] Stop ! 
Thomas Adams is not singing. Now, everyone, 
mind, and Thomas, if you don't sing, it will be 
five raps on the knuckles. [All except Tom sing 
'two lines; Lebaso^ again stops them,] Thomas 
Adams, come forward ! [Tom comes slowly for^ 



426 NATHAN HALE 

ward,] I am ashamed of you, being disobedient 
in this manner, — before your esteemed relative, 
too. What do you mean, sir? 

Tom. I won't sing " Gkxi Save the King." 

Lebanon. And why not? i 

Tom. Because I hate him and his redcoats. 
Hip ! Hip ! I say, for the Boston Indians, and 
Hooray for their tea-party ! 

[There is a low, suppressed murmur of approval 
from the scholars^ and a loud "Oh I" q/" asUm^ 
ishmentfrom Angelica. 

Lebanon. We'll see if we can't make you sing. 
Hold out your hand ! 

[Tom holds out his handy and Lebanon takes 
up his ruler, 

Angelica. Oh — [She cries out, and rises in- 
voluntarily.] Oh, please, Mr. Teacher — 

Lebanon. [After a momenfs hesitation,] I 
cannot be deaf to the voice of beauty. 



NATHAN HALE 427 

{Bowing to Angelica, he lays down the ruler. 

Mrs. Knowlton. Child, compose your nerves ; 
watch your mother ! 

Tom. Oh, you can whack me if you want. 
But when Mr. Hale's here, he don't pimish me for 
not singing. 

Lebanon. He doesn't? How's that? 

Tom. No, sir. He said he didn't blame me! 

Lebanon. Mr. Hale said that ? 

Tom. Yes, sir, and he said he had half a mind 
not to sing it himself any longer. 

Lebanon. That's treason! We'll see about 
that when Mr. Hale arrives. 

[Tom goes back to his seat, 

Mrs. Knowlton. Does Mr. Hale never come 
to the schoolhouse till toward noon ? — Angelica ! 

[She motions aside to Angelica to puil down her 
skirts, — that her ankles are showing, 

Lebanon. No, madam. Only, there was a 



428 NATHAN HALE 

rumor to-day that there had been bloodshed 
between the British and Americans at Concord, 
and Mr. Hale is at the. Post waiting for news. 

The Talbot Boy. \With his eyes ktmed toward 
one of the windows,] Please, sir, here comes Mr. 
Hale now. 

Lebanon. Very well. You will all please 
begin again and sing, whether Master Adams 
sings or not. 

Tom. \Who has been straining to see out,] Mr. 

Hale is out of breath, and he's wondrous excited 1 

[Lebanon raps for them to sing, and strikes ike 

tuning fork. The children — aU except Tom 

— sing through three lines , when Hale ef^ 

ters, excited. 

Hale. [Lifting his hand,] Stop that singing I 

[The children stop. 
Lebanon. Why is that, Mr. Hale? 



NATHAN HALE 429 

Hale. I won't have my school sing any more 
anthems to that tyrant ! 

Lebanon. We will be pimished for treason. 
Will you kindly notice the drawing on the board ? 

Hale. Hello! Hello! [Laughing,] What is it? 

The Jefferson Boy. It's our boys, sir, in 
Boston, driving the redcoats off the Comimon. 

Lebanon. I have left the punishment for you 
to fix on, sir. 

Hale. Punishment! Punishment! Not a bit 
of it ! Give the boy who did it a prize 1 Listen 
to me, boys and girls — how many of you are 
Whigs? Say "Aye." [All hut the Talbot Boy 
raise their right hands and shout "Aye ! "] Who's 
a Tory? 

Talbot Boy. Aye 1 

[Raising his right hand, but he takes it down 
quickly as all the others hiss him. 



NATHAN HALE 433 

Angelica. Angelica, sir. 

Hale. Miss Angelica to one side, and inquire 
about her studies. 

Lebanon. This way. Miss. 

[They go beside the window up stage. 

Hale. Miss AUce Adams, please come for- 
ward. [Alice rises and comes to Hale in front 
of desk ; she assumes an air of innocence, hut with 
a conscious twinkle in her eye when she looks at 
Hale.] ' It will be a great pleasure for you, I am 
sure, to have your cousin with you. 

Alice. [Sweetly and conventionally,] Yes, Mr. 
Hale. 

[She looks into his face, and deliberately winks 
mischievously at him, biting back a smile. 

Hale. [Coming nearer her^ whispers,] Can 
I keep you in at recess? Have you done some- 
thing I may punish you for ? 



434 NATHAN HALE 

AxiCE. Yes, sir. / drew the picture. 

Hale. [Delighted,] Good! 

Alice. But Tm afraid youVe spoiled it all 
by not disapproving. 

Hale. Not a bit of it ! As you^ve done it, I'll 
disapprove mightily ! [Smiles lovingly at her^ and 
adds, as he goes back to his desk:] Very well — 
that is all, Miss Adams. I will give you an 
opportunity to talk with your aunt and cousin 
during recess. 

Alice. [About to go, turns back disappointedly, 
and speaks to him aside,] What — aren't you 
going to punish me? 

Hale. [Aside to her,] Certainly, that is only 
to blind the others. You know I'm obliged to 
change my mind rather suddenly about this 
picture. [Alice goes back to her seat.] Mr. 
Lebanon ! 



NATHAN HALE 435 

[Lebanon joins Hale and they talk together 
aside. 

Angelica. [Joining her mother.] Oh, mother, 
he is really beautiful ! He says I know a great 
deal. 

[She stands by her mother, with one arm about 
Mrs. Knowlton. 
I Mrs. Knowlton. Humph! He must be a 
fool. One of your mitts is off, child! Why is 
that? 

Angelica. [Drawing her hand away.] He 
wanted to kiss my hand. 

Mrs. Knowlton. Put on your mitt, this 
minute '■ — and remember this, my dear : you are 
not here to learn coquetry, but arithmetic, — 
the French language if you like, but not French 
manners! 

Hale. In honor of the day, we will omit the 



430 NATHAN HALE 

first recitation, and recess will begin at once. 
[A general movement, and suppressed murmurs oj 
pleasure from all the scholars.] One moment, 
however ; on second thoughts, I have decided this 
picture — ahem — is, after all, very reprehen- 
sible. The perpetrator must suffer. Who is the 
culprit — she — he — [correcting himself quickly] 
must be punished. • 

Tom. [Before anyone else can speak, • rises,] 
I did it, sir. ' 

Alice. [Rising,] No, sir, it was I ! 

Hale. Miss Adams, I am surprised! And 
deeply as it pains me, I must keep you in during 
recess. 

Tom. It's a shame! [Turns to school,] He's 
always doing it ! 

Hale. Silence, Master Adams ! Ten minutes' 
recess. 



NATHAN HALE 437 

[All the scholars risCy get their hats and caps from 
pegs on the wally and go out talking and laugh- 
ing gaily, except Tom, who goes out slowly, 
angry; and Alice, who remains behind. 
Mrs. Knowlton. [To Angelica, as the scholars 
are leaving.] I think he is rather strict with your 
cousin. You^U have to mind your P's and Q's, 
my dear. 

Angelica. I don't like him one-half as much 
as Mr. Lebanon. 

Mrs. Knowlton. [Snapping her fingers on 
Angelica's shoulder.] Tut, my bird! Enough 
of that person. 

Hale. [Rising and turning to Mrs. Knowl- 
ton.] Madam, if you will allow Mr. Lebanon, he 
will escort you and your daughter about the play- 
grounds. 
Mrs. Knowlton. [Rising.] Thank you! 



438 NATHAN HALE 

Can my daughter remain to-day, sir ? Angelica, 

straighten your fichu strings. You do give me 

the fidgets! 

Hale. Certainly, madam. Mr. Lebanon — 

[Lebanon offers his arm to Mrs. Knowlton, 

who takes it after a curtsey to Mr. Hale. 
Mrs. Knowlton. Come, Angelica, and don't 
drop your mantilla ! 
[Angelica, after a curtsey, takes Mrs. Knowl- 
ton's hand, and they go out — all three. Hale 
and Alice watch them closely till they are off 
and the door closes behind them; then both give 
a sigh of reliefs and smile, — Alice rising and 
Hale going to her. 
Hale. [Very happy.] Well? 

[Takes her two hands in kis. 
Alice. [Also very happy.] Well? 
[Hale sits on desk bj.rc Ixr, Alice back in 
her seat. 



NATHAN HALE 439 

Hale. I'm afraid your brother is becoming 
umruly. I'll not be able to keep you in at recess 
much longer. You see, you're not half bad 
enough. [Smiling,] I ought not to punish you, 
and all the scholars will soon be perceiving that ! 

Alice. I try my best to think of something 
really bad to do, but my very wickedest things 
are always failures, and turn out so namby- 
pamby and half-way good, — I'm ashamed. 

Hale. [Impulsively,] You darling ! 

Alice. [Laughing; delighted, but drawing back 
in mock fear, and holding her arithmetic open 
between them,] Mr. Hale ! 

Hale. [Seriously, passionately, taking the book 
from her unconsciously, and throwing it aside,] 
Alice, did a young man ever tell you that he 
loved you? 

Alice. Yes, sir, — [taking up her geography] 
several have ! [Looking down into the book. 



440 NATHAN HALE 

Hale. What! 

Alice. [Looks up at him coyly y then down again 
into her hook,] And one of them three times. 

Hale. [Closing the hook in her hands , and hold- 
ing it closed so she will look at him,] I'll keep you 
in, three recesses in succession — one for each 
time ! 

Alice. [Looks straight into his eyes,] Then I 
wish he'd asked me twice as often ! 

Hale. Alice! 

Alice. It was my cousin Fitzroy! He says 
he will persist till he wins, and mother says he will. 

Hale. And you — do you like this cousin 
Fitzrov ? 

Alice. If I say I like him, will you keep me 
in another recess? 

Hale. [Moodily.] I'll keep you in a dozen. 

Alice. Then I love him ! 



NATHAN HALE 441 

Hale. [Forgetting everything hut her words, and 
leaving her,] Alice — Alice — go, join the others, 
ni never keep you in again ! 

Alice. No — no — you must ! [She throws 
away the geography,] You promised, if I would say 
I liked my cousin Fitzroy, you'd k?ep me in a 
dozen recesses. [Hale goes back to her,] It isn't 
treating me fair ! 

Hale. Do you know what I wish? I wish 
life were one long recess, and I could keep you 
in with me forever ! 

Alice. [Shyly looking down, speaks softly, 
naively.] Well — why — don't — you — sir ? 

Hale. [Eagerly, delighted.] May I? 

Alice. As if you didn't know you could. 
Only, there is one thing — 

Hale. [Tenderly.] What is it? 

Alice. When we're married, I think it's only 



442 NATHAN HALE 

fair that / should turn the tables, and sometimes 
keep you in ! 

Hale. Agreed ! I'll tell you what — 

Alice. [Interrupting.] Oh, I have an idea ! 

Hale. So have I. . . . I wonder if they're 
not the same? 

Alice. I'll try*again to do something really 
naughty ! 

Hale. And I will keep you after school. 

AiJCE. [Rises,] My idea — and then you will 
walk home with me — 

Hale. My idea, too! And I will ask your 
father to-day ! 

Alice. \With a half-mocking curtsey.] And if 
he won't give me to you, you will kindly take me 
all the same, sir. [The school hell rings outside. 

Hale. Here come the scholars! You love 
me, Alice? 



NATHAN HALE 443 

Alice. Yes. 

Hale. Half as much as I love you? 
Alice. No, Invice as much ! 
Hale. That couldn't be. My love for you is 
full of all the flowers that ever bloomed ! of all 
the songs the birds have ever sung! of all the 
kisses the stars have given the sky since night 
was made ! 

[He kisses her, 

[The door opens, and the scholars enter. Hale 

goes quickly to his desk, Alice buries her 

face in a hook. Angelica and Lebanon 

enter together, after the scholars. 

Lebanon. Mr. Hale, I think I had best point 

out to Miss Knowlton what her lessons will be, 

— and shall she sit next to Miss Adams, sir? 

Hale. Yes. And the first class in granunar 
will now come forward. 



444 NATHAN HALE 

[Seven scholars come forward and take their 

places on the forms in front of 'Sale, and while 

they are doing so, Lebanon ha^ arranged 

Angelica at a desk in front of Alice. 

Lebanon. This will be your desk, Miss 

Angelica. 

Angelica. Thank you, sir. Can I see you 
from here? 

Lebanon. Yes, I always occupy Mr. Hale's 
chair. But you mustn't look at me aU the time, 
young lady. 
Angelica. Ill try not to, sir. 
[She sighs. Hale begins to hear his cla^s, Leb- 
anon hends over Angeuca, opening several 
hooks, marking places in them for her, etc. 
He is showing her where her lessons are to be^ 
Hale. Master Tom Adams. 
Tom. [Rising.] Yes, sir. 



NATHAN HALE 44s 

Hale. The positive, comparative, and super- 
lative of good? 

Tom. Good, better, best. 

Hale. Yes. I wish you'd try and act on one 
or two of those in school. [Tom sits, grinning,] 
Master Talbot! [Talbot Boy rises,] Positive, 
comparative, and superlative of sick ? 

Talbot Boy. [Who lisps,] Thick — ? 

Hale. Well? [Pame.] Why, any boy half as 
old as you could answer that. There's our little 
visitor. Master Jefferson there, — I'll wager he 
knows it. Master Jefferson! [The Jefferson 
Boy comes forward.] Positive, comparative, and 
superlative of sick? 

The Jefferson Boy. Sick — [Pause.] Worse 
— [Longer pause.] Dead 1 

[The school laughs. 

Hale. [Laughing.] That's a good answer for 



446 NATHAN HALE 

the son of a doctor to make. [He nods to the boy 
to sit J and he does so,] What is it ? [He looks about 
and sees Angelica and Lebanon engrossed in 
each other behind a grammar book,] Miss Angelica 
— [Angelica and Lebanon start,] Can you 
give it to us? 

Angelica. [Timidly , rising.] I love — you 
love — he or she loves. 

[The school giggles. 
Hale. That was hardly my question, Miss 
Angelica. [She sits, embarrassed. A slight com- 
motion is heard outside.] What I asked was — 
[The door bursts open and Fitzroy enters. He is 
a handsome young fellow of about twenty-Jlve^ 
in the uniform of a British officer; he is 
excited^ and somewhat loud and noisy. 
Fitzroy. Is this the Union Grammar School? 
Hale. [Rising.] Yes! 



NATHAN HALE 447 

FiTZROY. I have been sent here by General 
Gage, who is in Boston, to hold a meeting of your 
townspeople who are loyal to King George. 

Hale. What for? 

FiTZROY. Boston is in a state of siege. The 
Rebels who chased the Regulars through Liexington 
have been joined by other colonists around, and 
have cut the town completely off from all com- 
munication, except by sea. This state of affairs 
is nothing else than war, and Great Britain calls 
upon her loyal children ! 

Hale. And my schoolhouse? 

FiTZROY. Is where the meeting is to be held, 
at once. 

Hale. [Coming down from platform.] A Tory 
meeting! Here! Have you been properly em- 
powered? 

FiTZROY. [Flourishing a paper,] Yes, here is 



44B NATHAN HALE 

my permit. A crier is going about the town 
now, calling the men to meet within the hour. 

Hale. A Tory meeting here ! [He turns to the 
school.] Then we'll get out, eh, boys? 

All tiie School. Yes — yes ! 

FiTZROY. What — are you all rebels here ? 

[Looking over the school. 

Tom. No! We're "Sons of Liberty!" 

FiTZROY. Damn you! [Hale interrupts him 
with a gesture, motioning to the girls on their side 
of the room. Fitzroy takes of his bearskin hat 
and bows gracefully.] I'll warrant the young 
ladies favor the British ! What, Alice, — you 
here? You will allow me, sir? 

[Hale bows assent, but not too pleased, and 
FiTZROY goes to Alice. 

Hale. What do you say now, Mr. Lebanon? 
Are you going to stay for this meeting ? 



NATHAN HALE 449 

Lebanon«> No, siree ! I am going out to buy 
a gun. 

Angelica. [Gives an unconsciotis cry, and, forged 
ting herself and her surroundings, rises frightened, 
crying:] Oh, no, Mr. Lebanon, oh, no, no, no ! 

Hale. Don't be alarmed. Miss Knowlton! 
I doubt if he ever uses it. 

Angelica. Make him promise me, sir, he'll 
never carry it loaded ! 

Hale. [After a jealous look at Alice and 
FiTZROY, who are talking together at one side, 
turns to the school,] Boys ! I have a proposition 
to make. What do you say to joining a small 
volunteer company, with me at your head? 
Every boy over fifteen, eligible. 

Boys. Yes — yes! 

The Jefferson Boy. Please, Mr. Hale, make 
it boys over 'leven. 



4SO NATHAN HALE 

Hale. We'll make you dnimmer-boy, Master 
JeflFersbn. Come — all boys who want to join, 
sign this paper ! 

[They all crowd around the desk and sign, the 

constant murmur of their voices being heard 

through the following scene. Fitzroy and 

Alice come down stage together, Alice 

leading, Fitzroy following. 

Alice. Please do not ask me that again. I 

tell you, you can never persuade me. Nor can 

my mother influence me the least in this. Twenty 

mothers couldn't make my heart beat for you, if 

you can't make it beat yourself. And even if I 

did love you — [she adds quickly] which I donH — 

I'd let my heart break before I'd marry a man 

who is willing to take up arms against his own 

country ! 

Fitzroy. That's a girl's reasoning. England 



NATHAN HALE 451 

is too great a power to be defeated by an upstart 
little government like the American, and when she 
wins, those of us who have stood by her will be 
rewarded ! These poor rebel fools will have their 
every penny confiscated, while I have a grant of 
land, promotion in the army — who knows, per- 
haps a title. Don't refuse me again too quickly ! 

Alice. Too quickly! There are no words 
short enough for me to use. You may sell your 
country for money and power, if you like, but 
you can't buy me with it, also. And that's the 
last word I'll ever say to you, Guy Fitzroy I 

FiTZROY. Huh! You'll change your mind 
some day ! I mean to have you, — do you hear 
me? If I can't beg or buy you, then I'll steal. 
You know what I'm like when I'm in my cups ! 
Some day, when I've made up my mind I can't 
wait any longer, I'll drink myself mad for you, 



452 NATHAN HALE 

and then beware of me ! You remember that 
evening, two months ago, after your mother's 
punch, when I dragged you behind the window 
curtain and kissed you against your will on your 
arms and neck and lips till you called for help? 
Remember that, and don't think you can refuse 
me carelessly, and have it done with. No, 
watch for me ! [She stands y facing him haughtily, 
showing her disgust for him. There is a moment^s 
pause, in which he gazes passionately and deter- 
minedly at her. Fitzroy, hy a gesture and a toss 
of his head, as much as to say, " WeHl see, I am 
sure to win,^^ breaks the pause and the feeling of the 
scene, looking at his watch and speaking as boys go 
back in single file to their places, having signed the 
volunteer roll-call.] It only lacks fifteen minutes 
of noon ; I must be off. I will be back, Mr. Hale, 
for the meeting at twelve. How many of you 



NATHAN HALB 453 

boys wish to stay and rally round King George's 
flag? [He waits for some sign from the hoys. 
There is only silence,] You little fools! [He 
turns to Hale.] Is this your teaching? 

Hale. Not altogether, though IVe done my 
best, sir. There is a gentleman in the Virginia 
Assembly who said "Caesar" — [He looks at boys 
with a nod of invitation to join him^ and they all 
finish with him heartily,] " Caesar had his Brutus, 
Charles the First his Cromwell, and George 
III " — [Tom throws up his cap, 

FiTZROY. [Loudly,] Treason — this is treason ! 

Hale. "George III — may profit by their 
example." That's what Patrick Henry said ! 

FiTZROY. Fortunate for him he went no 
farther ! 

Hale. Oh, he is still moving ! I think he will 
go far enough before he stops. 



454 NATHAN HALE 

FiTZROY. He may go up! {With a motion 
across the throaty of hanging,] See that the house 
is ready for us. [Hale nods, Fitzroy looks 
hard at Alice, then says :] Good day to you all ! 

[Goes out. 

Hale. The school will assemble to-morrow, as 
usual. Of course, if there's really any fighting 
to be done, I shall go, and the boys who are too 
young to go with me — 

The Jefferson Boy. None of us are, sir. 

All the Boys. None of us ! none of us ! 

Hale. Ah, I'm proud of you! Proud of you 
all! But your parents have something to say; 
and for the girls and the younger boys, we must 
find another teacher. 

Lebanon. I will stay, Mr. Hale. I feel it's my 
duty. 

Hale. [Amused.] Ahem! Very well — that 



NATHAN HALE 455 

is settled, then. For to-day the school is now 
dismissed, except Miss Alice Adams, who must 
remain behind. 

Tom. [Rises y angrily.] What for? She hasn't 
done anything — she hasn't had a chance to do 
anything. You kept her in all recess, and you 
shan't keep her in again ! 

[Alice and Hale are secretly amused. The 
school looks on, surprised and excited. 

Hale. Look here. Master Adams, what right 
have you to say as to what shall or shall not be 
done in this school? 

Tom. She's my sister, and you're always 
punishing her, and I won't have it ! 

Hale. [Amused.] Oh, won't you? 

Tom. No, sir, I won't! She never does any- 
thing worth being punished for. You've got a 
grudge against her. All the boys have seen it ! 



4S6 NATHAN HALE 

Haven't you, boys? Go on, speak out, — 
haven't you seen it? 

[Turning to the boys, who murmur, rather 
timidly, "Yes." 

Hale. Really? May I ask who is master 
here? School is dismissed, except Miss Alice 
Adams, — she remains behind 1 

Tom. [Excited, coming out from his seat to in 
front of the benches,] I say she shan't ! 

Hale. And I say it's none of your business, 
sir, and she shall ! 

Tom. [Of his head with excitement.] She shan't ! 
[Beginning to take of his coat.] Will you fight it 
out with me ? Come on — a fair fight ! 

Alice. Tom! 

[The school rise and go out slowly with Lebanon, 
but casting curious looks behind them as they go, 
Alice, Hale and Tom are left behind. 



NATHAN HALE 457 

Hale. I will leave it with Miss Adams herself 
whether she does as I say, or not. 

Tom. Come on, Alice, come on with me I 

Alice. No, I prefer to stay. 

Tom. Bah — just like a girl! Very well, 
then / shall stay, too. [Hale and Alice look 
surprised and disappointed, yet secretly amused.] 
Every time you punish my sister, you'll have to 
punish me, now. If she stays behind, I stay, too, 
to keep her company. 

[Behind Tom's hack, Alice and Hale ex- 
change amused and puzzled looks and affec- 
tionate signals. Finally Hale has an idea. 

Hale. Tom, come here, — go to the black- 
board. [Tom goes sullenly to the board,] I think 
we'll have a little Latin out of you. Write the 
• present tense of the Latin word "to love." [Tom 
sneers, but with a piece of chalk writes : 



4S8 NATHAN HALE 

"Amo, / lovCy 
Amas, Thou lovest, 
Amat, He — " 
is interrupted.] Never mind the "he or she"; 
just make it "she." 
[Tom puts an "^" in front of the "/?€," making it 
^^she,^ and adds ^^loves,^^ Tom looks sullen 
and rather foolish, not understanding. Hale 
goes to board and taking a piece of chalk adds, 
after first line, "Alice," attd also to end of 
second line, "Alice;" he adds to third line 
"w€," and signs it "Nathan Hale." The 
blackboard then reads: — 
"Amo, / love Alice, 
Amas, Thou lovest Alice, 
Amat, She loves — me. 

Nathan Hale." 
Tom. [Embarrassed^ surprised^ twt altogether 



NATHAN HALE 459 

pleased.] What — I don't believe it — it isn't 
true! 

Alice. [Rising and coming forward.] Yes, it 
is, Tom. 
Tom. WeU, I'll be blowed ! — 
[He stops shorty crimson in the face, and rushes 
from the room. Hale goes toward Alice with 
his arms outstretched to embrace her; Alice 
goes into his arms — a long embrace and 
kiss. A loud tattoo on a drum outside startles 
them. 
Hale. The Tory meeting ! 
Alice. Fitzroy will be back. I don't want to 
see him ! 
Hale. Quick — we'll go by the window! 
[Putting a chair under the window, he jumps 
on to chair and oui; then leans in the window 
and holds out his hands to Alice, who is on the 



46o NATHAN HALE 

chair.] And if to-morrow another drum 

makes me a soldier — ? 
Alice. It will make me a soldier's sweetheart ! 
Hale. Come ! 
[She gets out of the window with his help, and, 

with loud drum tattoo and bugle caU, the stage 

is left empty, as 

THE CURTAIN FALLS 



ACT THE SECOND 

Septembety 1776, At Colonel Knowlton's 
house on Harlem Heights. A large, general 
room, with white walls and columns. The 
furniture of the room is heavy mahogany, up- 
holstered in crimson brocade, this latter material 
also hanging in curtains at the windows. Life- 
sized portraits, by Copley and Stuart, of Colonel 
and Mrs, Kfwwlton at the time of their mar- 
riage, hang on each side of the room, A broad 
window at back shows the brick wall of the garden j 
and through a tall, ornamental, iron gate is caught 
a glimpse of the river, Mrs. Knowlton is 
nervously looking out of the window. She comes 
from the window, pulls the bell-rope, and returns 

461 



462 NATHAN HALE 

agitatedly to window, A happy old colored 

servant, in a light blue and silver livery, enters 

in answer, 

Jasper. Yaas, m'm? 

Mrs. Knowlton. Oh, Jasper, how long since 
Miss Angelica went out? 

Jasper. I dunno, m*m. 

Mrs. Knowlton. It isn't safe for her to go out 
alone, Jasper. 

Jasper. No, m'm. 

Mrs. Knowlton. [Looking again out of win- 
dow,] And I've expressly forbidden her. 

Jasper. Yaas, m'm. 

Mrs. Knowlton. [Turning and coming back 
excitedly on her toes.] And you don't know? 

Jasper. Dunno nothing, m'm. ^ 

Mrs. Knowlton. And the other servants? 

Jasper. None of the servants in this hyah 



NATHAN HALE ' 463 

house, m'm, diinno nothing whatsomever what 
ole Jasper dunno. 
[Colonel Knowlton enters hurriedly. He is 
a iallj striking-looking man^ aquiline features, 
and iron-gray hair. He is strong in character y 
brave in spirit, and affectionate in heart. He 
is dressed in the blue and buff uniform of a 
Revolutionary Colonel, 
Colonel Knowlton. [Speaks cts he enters,] 
Ah, Martha, that's good I've found you! 

Jasper. [Eagerly.] Beg pardon, sah, but am 
thar any news. Colonel? 

Colonel Knowlton. Yes, Jasper. You ser- 
vants must turn all our rooms into bed-chambers 
by to-night. 

[Sits heavily on the sofa (W if he were tired. 
Mrs. Knowlton. What ! 
[Going to him and sitting beside him on the sofa. 



464 NATHAN HALE 

Jasper leaves the room, taking the Colonel's 
sword and hat. 

Colonel Knowlton. The army has aban- 
doned the city, under Washington's orders, 
to take a position here, on Harlem Heights. 
Washington is making his own headquarters at 
the house of Robert Murray, on Murray Hill, 
and we must take in all the staff officers we can. 

Mrs. Knowlton. [Brushing the dust of his 
shoulders, and holding his arm affectionately,] 
Well, I'm glad of a chance to be of some sort of 
use, even if it's only to turn the house into a 
tavern ! Have we abandoned the city entirely? 

Colonel Knowlton. No, General Putnam 
is there with four thousand men. But everyone 
who can is leaving. The sick have been sent over 
to Paulus Hook.^ I told Captain Adams he 

^ Now Jersey City. 



NATHAN HALE 465 

should stay with us, and he brings AKce with 
him. 

Mrs. Knowlton. That's most desirable for 
Angelica. This Lebanon person proposed for 
her again to me this morning ! He doesn't seem 
to understand the meaning of the word "No." 
The next time, you^d better say it and see if he 
will understand. 

Colonel Knowlton. What is there against 
Mr. Lebanon? — Where is Angelica? 

Mrs. Knowlton. 1 don't know, and I'm that 
worried. [Rises and goes again to the window.] 
She's been gone two hours, and she didn't wear 
her pattens. 

Jasper. [Enters ^ announcing:] Captain Adams, 
sah, and Missy. 

[Colonel Knowlton rises as Captain Adams 
and Alice come in, Alice looks mt4ch more 



466 NATHAN HALE 

of a young lady than in the First Act, and very 
charming in a full blue and white dress, big 
hat, and black silk pelisse for travelling. 
Her father, Captain Adams, is a portly, dig- 
nified, good-hearted man, older than Colonel 
Knowlton, and like him in Colonial uniform. 
Captain Adams kisses Mrs. Knowlton, 
then goes to Knowlton, while Alice kisses 
Mrs. Knowlton. 
Mrs. Knowlton. I'm so glad you came, too, 
Alice. Angelica is worrying me terribly. 
[Helping Alice off with her pelisse. The two 

women go up the stage together. 

Captain Adams. I've been seeing about the 

public stores which are being taken to Dobb's 

Ferry. General Washington tells me he has asked 

you to hold a conference here to-day. 

Colonel Knowlton. Yes. [Turning to Mrs. 



NATHAN HALE 467 

Knowlton.] We must prepare this room, 
Martha. 

Mrs. Knowlton. What is the conference for ? 

Colonel Knowlton. We must discover, in 
some way, what the enemy's plans are. 

Captain Adams. Yes, what are these damned 
British going to do ? We must know. The army 
is becoming more and more demoralized every day ! 

Alice. Only to think! We've heard our 
soldiers are actually in need of the barest neces- 
sities of clothing, and there are practically no 
blankets! 

[During Alice's speech, Mrs. Knowlton goes 
to the door at Left, opens it and listens for 
Angelica. She closes it and comes hack, 

Mrs. Knowlton. No blankets — and the 
Winter coming! Well! I was married with six 
pairs, and mother was married with six, and 



468 NATHAN HALE 

Angelica shan't be married at all — at least, not 
till this war's over ! So there's three times six, — 
eighteen pairs for the Continental soldiers — 
bless their hearts! Alice, how about young 
Fitzroy? It's rumored again you're going to 
marry him. 

[Crossing to Alice as she speaks her name. At 
the same time, the two men go a jew steps up 
the stage and talk together confidentially. 

Alice. Oh, that rumor spreads every time I 
refuse him ; and I did again by post, yesterday. 

Mrs. Knowlton. I'm glad of it ! He's noth- 
ing like Captain Hale's equal. People aren't 
through talking yet of his gallant capture of the 
British sloop in the East River ! 

Colonel Knowlton. Hale's done a hundred 
brave things since then ! The eyes of the whole 
Army are upon him. 



NATHAN HALE 469 

Alice. [Very happy and prdud,] I know 
something very few are aware of. Not long ^igo 
the men of his company, whose term of service 
had expired, determined to leave the ranks, 
and he offered to give them his pay if they would 
only remain a certain time longer. 

[The two men come forward. 

Captain Adams. Good Heavens! What my 
daughter doesn't know about Captain Hale! — 

Alice. [Beseeching.] Father ! 

Captain Adams. [Smiling.] If you allow 
Alice, she will spend the day discanting on Cap- 
tain Hale's merits. As for Fitzroy, he's a black- 
guard. They say he would like to join the 
Americans now, but don't dare, because he killed 
one of his old friends in a drunken brawl, and he's 
afraid he'd get strung for it. 

Colonel Knowlton. And just at present, 



470 NATHAN HALE 

Martha, Captain Adams would probably be 
pleased to go to his room. 

Mrs. Knowlton. By all means ! This way, 
Captain. Alice, I will return for you in a mo- 
ment. You must share with Angelica, now the 
house is to be turned into a barracks. 

Colonel Knowlton. Be careful you girls 
don't do any wounding on your own account. 
We've no men to spare! 
[Alice laughs. Mrs. Knowlton and Captain 
Adams go out by the door^ Left. Alice stops 
Colonel Knowlton, as he is about to 
follow. She pantomimes Mm to come back, 
pushes him doTvn onto the sofa — she is behind 
it — and with her arms about his neck^ speaks 
cajolingly. 
Alice. Uncle Knowlton? 
Colonel Knowlton. Yes, my dear. 



NATHAN HALE 471 

Alice. Have you any news of Captain Hale? 

Colonel Knowlton. How long is it since you 
have seen him? 

Alice. Much too long, and I've made up my 
mind not to have it any more! 

Colonel Knowlton. That's right, don't trust 
him. In Connecticut, where he's been, the girls 
are far too pretty! 

[Insinuatingly J bending his head back, and 
looking up at her humorously. 

Alice. [Jealously.] You've heard some stories 
of him ? 

Colonel Knowlton. [Teasing her.] Ahem! 
Far be it from me to expose a fellow-soldier. 

Alice. Uncle Knowlton, I'm ashamed of you ! 
An old man like you ! 

Colonel Knowlton. Oh, not so old ! 

Alice. What do you know? 



472 NATHAN HALE 

Colonel Knowlton. [Rising,] Nothing, my 
dear. I was only jesting. [Starting to go. 

Alice. I'm not so sure of that. Wait a 
minute ! 
[Coming from behind the sofa to him, she seizes 
hold of him by a button on the breast of his 
coat, taking a pair of scissors from the table. 
The house bell is heard. 
Colonel Knowlton. What are you doing? 
Alice. Getting a soldier's button to make 
Captain Hale jealous with! He shan't think 
he is the only one to flirt. 
[Jasper enters from the hall in answer to the 
house bell, and crosses the room to the door 
which leads to upstairs. 
Colonel Knowlton. We soldiers don't give 
buttons away — we sell them ! 
Alice. Oh, I'm going to kiss you! You're 



NATHAN HALE 473 

quite old enough for that, [she kisses him] but, when 
I tell Nathan about it, I shall pretend you were 
somebody else, and young, and good-looking! 

[Jasper, who has watched them by the doorway^ 
RigJvt, chuckles and goes out. 

Colonel Knowlton. Well, you can tell him 
to-day if you like ! — 

[For a second, Alice cannot speak for surprise 
and joy; then she catches her breath and cries: 

Alice. He's coming here ! 

Colonel Knowlton. Yes! 

[Nods his head violently, 

Alice. Oh ! [She cries out for very happiness^ 
and, running across the room, throws herself in an 
ecstasy of joy upon the sofa; then quickly jumps up 
and runs back to Colonel Knowlton.] I'll kiss 
you again for that good news. [Starts to kiss him; 
changes her mind,] No, I won't, either 1 



474 NATHAN HALE 

Colonel Knowlton. No, you must save all 
the rest of your kisses for Captain Hale ! 

Alice. Oh, dear no! Yours weren't at all 
the kind I give him. You know there are two 
kinds of visits, — those we make because we 
want to see people, and those we make on 
strangers, or after a party, whether we want to or 
not. The latter are called duty visits I Well? — 
Do you understand? 

Colonel Knowlton. No, not in the least. 

Alice. Stupid! Your kiss was a dtdy visit. 
[With a low mocking curtsey,] What hour is he 
coming ? 

Colonel Knowlton. I won't tell you. Miss ! 
I won't give you another party, all for that one 
little duty visit. 

[And he starts to go out by the door, Left. 

Mrs. Knowlton. [Off the stage, Left, coils:] 
Thomas ! 



NATHAN HALE 475 

Colonel Knowlton. Coming, Martha! 

[He closes the door behind him, 

Alice. [Dances half-way around the room^ 
singing, 

"Nathan is coming, to-day, to-day! 
Nathan is coming to-day, to-day !" etc., etc., 
till she reaches the mirror on the wall at the Left, 
She examines herself critically in the glass, still 
singing, takes a rose from a vase and puts it in her 
hair, retouches her toilet where she can, and pinches 
her cheeks to make them red,] Oh, dear, I wish I 
were prettier ! I wonder what those Connecticut 
girls are like ! — 

[Angelica appears outside the window, and 
thrusts her head in, 

Angelica. \Whispers.] Alice! 

Alice. [Startled.] Oh! Angelica! 

Angelica. Sh ! . . . don't look — turn your 
head the other way. 



476 NATHAN HALE 

Alice. What in the world — ! 
Angelica. Sh — Go on — Please. . . . 
[Alice turns her hack to the window, Angelica 
beckons, of Left, and runs past the window^ fol- 
lowed hy Lebanon, quickly. The front door is 
heard to slam. Angelica puts her head in at 
the doorway, Right. 
Alice. What's the matter? 
Angelica. Alice! Matter! Matter enough! 
I'm married ! ! 
Alice. [Loudly.] What! 1 
Angelica. [Frightened.] Sh ! Where is mother ? 
Alice. Upstairs. 

Angelica. Very well. [Speaks over her 
shoulder.] Come along, darling! [She enters, 
followed hy Lebanon, dressed in Continental 
uniform. He wears a white wedding favor ^ and 
carries a gun awkwardly.] I'm a married woman, 



NATHAN HALE 477 

Alice ! [She turns and directs Alice's attention to 
Lebanon, on whom she gazes lovingly.] Isn't he 
beautiful in his soldier clothes ? [Lebanon smiles, 
embarrassed but happy ^ and goes to shake hands 
with Alice.] Go on, you can kiss him, Alice. I 
won't be jealous, just this once, on our wedding- 
day! 

Lebanon. [To Angelica.] No, really, thank 
you. Precious, but I'd rather not. [To Alice.] 
You don't mind? 

Alice. [Smiling,] Oh, no, pray don't put 
yourself out for me ! 

Angelica. [Aside to Lebanon.] You've hurt 
her feelings. [She tries to take his arm, but it is 
his right, in which he carries his gun. Aloud,] 
Hold your gun in your other hand. I want to 
take your arm. [He changes his gun awkwardly. 
They stand together, arm in arm, her head on kis 



478 NATHAN HALE 

shoulder , and she gives a happy sigh^ Alice, will 
you break it to mother, at once? 

Alice. Mercy! I forgot about that. It's an 
elopement ! 

Angelica. Yes, and in the daytime ! I hated 
to do without a moon, but I could never get away 
evenings! 

Alice. Does your mother suspect? 

Angelica. Not a sign. She refused Ebeneaser 
again this morning ! 

Mrs. Knowlton. [Calls from of stage^ LeM 
Alice ! 

[All start, Angelica and Lebanon show abject 
terror, and, *' grabbing** for each other ^ cUng 
together. 

Angelica. Oh, she's coming ! Save us. Alice, 
save us ! 

Alice. Quick ! Go back into the hall. 

[Starts pushing ihem ouL 



NATHAN HALE 479 

Lebanon. Do it gently, Miss Alice. 

Angelica. Yes, mother couldn't stand too 
great a shock! 

[They go out. Right, Alice takes a ribbon out of 
the little bag she carries, and, putting Colonel 
EInowlton's button on it, ties it around her 
neck, as Mrs. Knowlton comes into the room, 

Mrs. Knowlton. I heard voices. What did 
they want? 

Alice. [Embarrassed, but amused,] They de- 
sired me to tell you, as gently as possible, that 
they — that she — that he — well, that you 
are a mother-in-law I 

Mrs. Knowlton. What do you mean, child, 
by calling me names? 

Alice. Angelica — 

Mrs. Knowlton. Angelica! — Mother-in-law 
— Alice, don't tell me! Give me air! Give 
me air! 



48o NATHAN HALE 

Alice. [Fanning her.] Air ! 

Mrs. Knowlton. No ! no ! I mean something 
to sit on. Angelica — my baby 1 — hasn't made 
herself miserable for life? 

[Sitting in a chair which Alice brings forward 
for her. 

Alice. No! She's married! 

Mrs. Knowlton. It's the same thing! Who 
was the wicked child's accomplice ? [She stiddenly 
realizes f and rises.] It wasn't — it wasn't — that 
— [she chokes] that — that I — 

Alice. Lebanon! 

Mrs. EInowlton. No! [Her legs give way, 
owing to her emotions, and she sits suddenly in the 
chair.] I won't believe it! Those children! 
I'll spank them both and put them to bed ! No ! 
I won't do that either ! Where are they? 

Alice. In the hall. 



NATHAN HALE 481 

Mrs. Knowlton. [Rises and gestures tragically,] 
Call them ! 

Alice. [Going to the door^ Right,] You won't 
be cruel to her — [Mrs. Knowlton breathes hard 
through her tightly compressed lips,] Angelica! 
[Angelica and Lebanon enter timidly, 

Angelica. Mother! 

Mrs. Knowlton. Don't come near me ! I — 
you undutiful child ! [She begins to break down, 
and tears threaten her. To Lebanon.] As for 
you, sir — words fails me — I — [She breaks down 
completely^ and turns to Angelica.] Oh, come to 
my arms 1 [The last is meant for Angelica only, 
but Lebanon takes it for himself also. Both 
Angelica and Lebanon go to Mrs. Knowlton's 
arms, but she repulses Lebanon.] Not you, sir ! 
Not you! [And enfolds Angelica.] My little 
girl ! Why did you? — [Crying. 



482 NATHAN HALE 

Angelica. [Herself a little tearful.] He said 
he'd go fight if I'd marry him ! And I heard so 
much of our needing soldiers. I did it, a little, for 
the sake of the country ! 

Mrs. Knowlton. Rubbish! Come to my 
room ! — 

Angelica. Look at him, mother! And I 
wouldn't marry him till he put them all on! 
Gun and all ! 

Lebanon. [Timidly.] Mother! 

Mrs. Knowlton. [Turning,] Whatll How 
dare you, sir I 

Lebanon. Please be a mother to me, just for a 
few minutes. I'm going off to fight this evening. 

Mrs. Knowlton. [Witheringly,] Fight! You? 

Lebanon. Yes, I said to my wife — [These 
words very proudly, Angelica also straightens up 
at them, and Mrs. Knowlton gasps angrily,] 



NATHAN HALE 483 

Let's begin with your mother, and if I'm not 
afraid before her, I'll be that much encouraged 
toward facing the British. 
[Angelica, seizing Lebanon's free handy says 
"Come," and the two kneel at Mrs. Knowl- 
ton's feety in the manner of old-fashioned 
story-books, 
Angelica. Forgive him, mother, for the sake 
of the country? 

Mrs. Knowlton. H'm! We'll see — [She goes 
out saying:] Come, Angelica ! 
[k'^GEUCX follows her outy beckoning to Lebanon 
to follow, which he does, pushed forward by 
Alice. Alice is left alone, Jasper enters 
from the Right, 
Jasper. Has Colonel Knowlton gone out, 
Missy? 
Alice. No, Jasper. 



484 NATHAN HALE 

Jasper. 'Cause thah's a young Captain Hale 
hyah to pay his respecks. 

Alice. Captain Hale ! 

Jasper. Yaas, Missy. 

Alice. Then never you mind about Colonel 
Knowlton, Jasper ; / will take all the respects that 
gentleman has to pay I 

Jasper. La, Missy! Is you sweet on him? 
[Opens door,] This way, sah! Hyah's a yoiing 
lady says as how she's been waiting up sence sun- 
rise foa you ! 

Alice. Jasper! 

[Hale enters. 

Hale. [Seeing her, is very much surprised,] 
Alice ! 

[He rushes to her and takes her in his arms. 

Jasper. [By the door, Right, with much feeling.] 
Dat's right, kiss on, ma honeys! Smack each 



NATHAN HALE 48$ 

other straight from the heart. It does ole Jasper 
good to see you. Thah's a little yaller gal lying 
out in the graveyard, yonder, dat knows ole 
Jasper was fond of kissing, too! [Alice and 
Hale finish their embrace, and sit side by side on 
the sofa. They are unconscious of the presence of 
Jasper, who lingers to enjoy their love, unable to 
tear himself away. He speaks softly to himself,] 
Don't stop, ma honeys, don't stop ! 

Hale. I had no hint I should find you here. 

[Taking her hand, 

Alice. Father brought me, to-day. 

Jasper. [Taking a step nearer to them behind 
the sofa.] Bress their little souls! 

Hale. I have just come down from Con- 
necticut — a lovely part of the country. 

[Alice draws her hand away, 

Alice. Yes. I've heard of you there. 



486 NATHAN HALE 

Jasper. [Coming in earshot^ disappointed,] Oh, 
go on, ma honeys, don't stop ! Kiss again, jes' 
for ole Jasper's sake! 

Alice. Jasper! 

Hale. What do you want, Jasper? 

Jasper. Want to see you kiss again, Cappen. 
It warms ma ole heart, it does! 

Hale. [Laughing,] I'll warm something else 
for you, if you don't get out ! 

Jasper. You don' mind ole Jasper, Cappen? 
Why, I done see the nobles' in the Ian' kiss right 
yah in this very room ! 

Hale. Well, you go away now. You have 
kissing on the brain! 

Jasper. Maybe I has, Cappen, but I'd a deal 
sight rather have it on the lips! You ain't 
the on'y sojer anyway, Cappen, what Missy's 
kissed. Take ole Jasper's word for dat, you 



NATHAN HALE 487 

ain't the on'y one this very day, you take 
ole Jasper's word for dat ! 

[Ckuckling, 

Alice. [Leading Jasper on to make Hale 
jealous,] Why, Jasper, where were you? 

Jasper. I was jes' comin' in. Missy, and jes' 
goin' out. I shet my eyes tight, but they would 
squint, honey! Jasper's ears, anyway, are jes' 
as sartin as stealin' to hear kissin' goin' on any- 
where round these hyah parts. 

[He goes out. Right, 

Hale. Is that true? [Alice looks at him, 
smiling provokingly, and playing with the military 
btUton around her neck, to call kis attention to it. 
He sees the button,] Whose — 

[He stops himself J resolved not to ask her about it, 
but he canH take his eyes of it, 

Alice. / wish to ask a question or two! 



488 NATHAN HALE 

How many young ladies did you see in Connecti- 
cut? 

Hale. [Moodily,] I don't know. What sol- 
dier's button is that you wear on your neck? . 

Alice. What young ladies have you made love 
to, since we've been separated^ 

Hale. Whom did you kiss to-day, before me? 

Alice. Confess! 

Hale. Whom? 

Alice. [Rises,] Captain Hale, ^th a curtsey] 
I'm not your pupil any longer, to be catechized so ! 

Hale. [Rises also,] Very well! Please tell 
your uncle, Colonel Knowlton, I am here to see 
him. 

Alice. Captain Hale, [another curtsey] I 
shan't do any such thing. 

Hale. Then I'll go find him myself! 

[Going toward the door, Left. 



NATHAN HALE 489 

Alice. [Running before him,] No, you won't 
— Captain Hale — 

[Going before the door and barring his way. 
Hale. Give me that button! 

[His eyes on it, 
Alice. [Leaning against the door-frame,] Not 
for worlds 1 

^ [Kissing it. 

Hale. [Looking about the room.] I'll climb out 
the window. 
[Alice runs to prevent him, and gets to the 

window first, 
Alice. Do, if you like, but I shan't follow you 
this time I 

Hale. Ah, you remember that day in the 
schoolhouse, when you promised to be a soldier's 
sweetheart? I didn't know you meant a whole 
regiment's! 



490 NATHAN HALE 

Alice. [Coming away from the window, indig- 
nant,] How dare you ! Leave m3r house I 

Hale. Whose house ? 

Alice. I mean — my uncle's house. 

Hale. Which way may I go? The way I came? 

Alice. [Witheringly,] Yes, back to your Con- 
necticut young ladies 1 

Hale. Thank you ! 

[BowSf and steps out of the low window. Alice 
stands listening a moment, then hurries to the 
window and leans out, calling, 

Alice. Nathan! Nathan! Where are you 
going? 

Hale. Where you sent me — to — ahem I — 
Connecticut ! 

Alice. Are there so many pretty girls there? 

Hale. There isn't a petticoat in the State — 
at least there wasn't for my eyes ! 



NATHAN HALE 491 

Alice. Then come back! Come back! 
Quickly ! 

[Nathan reappears outside the window. 

Hale. Aren't you ashamed of yourself? 

Alice. No! 

Hale. [Laughing,] Then I won't come back ! 

Alice. Very well, sir, don't ! 

Hale. What reward will you give me, if I do? 

Alice. [Thinks a second.] This button! 

Hale, (jood ! [Putting his hands on window- 
ledge, he springs in. He holds out his hand for the 
button,] Give it to me ! 

Alice. [Teasing, pretends to be sad and re- 
pentant,] First, I must make a confession. 

Hale. [Depressed.] Go on. 

Alice. And tell you whom I kissed. 

Hale. [More depressed,] Well? 

Alice. You'll forgive me? 



492 NATHAN HALE 

Hale. [Desperate^ between his teeth,] Yes! 
Alice. [Looks upy smiling mischievously.] It 
was Uncle Knowlton! 

[Hale starts, looks at her a momentf compre- 
hends , then laughs. 
Hale. You little devil, you! To tease your 
true love out of his wits. But I will make you 
regret it — I have been very ill in Connecticut. 
Alice. That^s why you were there so long ! 
[All her teasing humor vanishes, and, for the rest 
oj the A ct, Alice is serious. From this moment 
in the play the ivoman in her slowly and finally 
usurps the girl. 
Hale. Yes. As soon as I was able, I came 
on here. IVe been out of the fighting long 
enough. 

Alice. Fighting ! Is there to be another battle 
at once? Is that what this conference is for? 



NATHAN HALE 493 

Hale. I don't know, but we must attack, or 
we'll be driven entirely out of New York, as we 
were out of Boston. 

Alice. General Washington has twenty thou- 
sand men ! 

Hale. Yes, with no arms for half of them, 
and two-thirds undrilled. (jood Heavens, the 
patient courage of that man! Each defeat, he 
says, only trains his men the better, and fits them 
for winning victory in the end! But General 
Howe has crossed, now, to Long Island, with 
thirtv thousand British soldiers. 

Alice. Oh, this dreadful war! When will it 
end? 

Hale. Not till we've won our freedom, or 
every man among us is dead or jailed ! 

Alice. That's the horror that comes to me at 
night, Nathan. I see you starving, choking, in 



494 NATHAN HALE 

some black hole, with one of those brutes of a 
redcoat over you, or worse, — lying on the battle- 
field, wounded, dying, and away from me I There's 
one horrible dream that comes to me often ! It 
came again last week! I'm in an orchard, and 
the trees are pink and white with blossoms, and 
the birds are singing, and the air is sweet with 
Spring ; then great clouds of smoke drift through, 
and the little birds drop dead from their branches, 
and the pink petals fall blood-red on the white 
face of a soldier lying on the groimd, and it's you 
— [in a hysterical frenzy] you ! ! And — then I 
wake up, and oh, my God ! I'm afraid some day 
it will happen ! Nathan ! Nathan ! 

Hale. My darling, my darling! It's only a 
war dream, such as comes to everyone in times 
like these! 

[Taking her in his arms and comforting her. 



NATHAN HALE 495 

Alice. Yes, and how often they prove true! 
Oh, Nathan, must you go on fighting? 

Hale. Alice! 

Alice. Yes, yes, of course you must. I know 
we need every man we have, and more 1 Ah, if 
only I were one, to fight by your side, or even a 
drummer-boy to lead you on ! [She adds ivith a 
slight smile^ and a momentary return to her girlish 
humor, and quicklyy in a confidential tone, as if 
she were telling a secret:] I would be very careful 
wliere / led you I Not where the danger was 
greatest, I'll warrant ! [She returns to her former 
serious mood,] Nathan, listen. Promise me one 
thing, — that when you do go back to the fighting, 
you won't expose yourself unnecessarily! 

Hale. [Smiling.] My dear little woman, I 
don't know what you mean ! 

Alice. Yes, you do ! You must ! It isnH a 



496 NATHAN HALE 

foolish thing I'm asking ! And I ask it for your 
love of me! You must fight, of course, and I 
want you to fight bravely — you couldn't do 
otherwise, — that you've proved time and again ! 
Well, let it be so ! Fight bravely 1 But promise 
me you won't let yourself be carried away into 
leading some foriorn hope; that you won't risk 
your precious life just to encourage others ! Re- 
member, it's my life now ! Don't volunteer to do 
more than your duty as a soldier demands, — not 
more, for my sake. Don't willingly place the life 
I claim for mine in any jeopardy your honor as a 
soldier does not make imperative. Will you 
promise me that? 

Hale. Yes, dear, I will promise you that. 

Alice. That you won't risk your life unneces- 
sarily? Swear it to me! 

Hale. [Smiling,] By what? 



NATHAN HALE 497 

Alice. [Very serious,] By your love for me, 
and mine -for you. 
Hale. [Serious,] I swear it ! 
Alice. Ah, God bless you ! 
[In the greatest relief , and with joy j she goes to 

embrace hiniy but they stand apart, startled by a 

loud knocking oj the iron knocker on the front 

door of the house. 
Hale. The men, beginning to come for the 
conference ! 
Alice. Oh, I wish I could stay ! Can't I stay ? 
Hale. No. No women can be present. 
Alice. If I asked Uncle? 
Hale. He hasn't the power ! 
[Colonel Knowlton and Captain Adams 

come into the room from upstairs. 
Colonel Knowlton. Ah, Hale, you're in 
^ood time ! 



498 NATHAN HALE 

[Shakes his handy and Hale passes on and shakes 
Captain Adams's hand, as Jasper ushers in 
three other men in unijorm, who are greeted 
cordially by Colonel Knowlton, and who 
pass on in turn to Captain* Adams and Hale, 
with whom each also shakes hands. Mean- 
while, Alice, seeing she is unobserved, steals 
to the big window recess, where she conceals 
herself behind the curtains. While the men 
are greeting each other with the ordinary 
phrases, Jasper speaks at the door. Right. 
Jasper. [Shaking his head.] What a pity 

Colonel Knowlton was down already! Ole 

Jasper was jes' a-countin' on gittin' another kiss ! 

[Starts to go out, but stops to hold door open, saying:] 

This way, gemmen, if you please. 
[Hull, a handsome young officer, Hale's age, and 
another man in uniform enter. They greet, first 
Colonel Knowlton, and then the others. 



NATHAN HALE 499 

Colonel Knowlton. Jgisper, arrange the 
chairs and table for us. 

Jasper. Yaas, sir. [He goes about the room 
arranging chairs and talking aloud to himself. 
Places table for Colonel Knowlton at Rights with 
a chair behind it, and groups the other chairs in a 
semicircle on the Left, Three more men come in 
together, and two separately, each one shaking hands 
all around, and always with Colonel Knowlton 
first.] Lor' save us, ef I knows how to arrange 
chahs for dis hyah meetin' ! It ain't exackly a 
gospel meetin', no yetwise a funeral. Mo' like a 
funeral 'n anything else, I reckon! Funeral o' 
dat tha British Lion. [Moving the table.] Dat's 
the place for the corpse. [Placing a chair behind.] 
Dat's fo' the preacher, and these hyah other 
chahs — [with a final arrangement of the chairs] is 
fo' de mourners! Guess dey's mighty glad to 
get red^o' sech a pesky ole relation ; seems as ef 



500 NATHAN HALE 

she want de mother country, birt mo' like de 
mother-in-law country, to ole Jasper's mind ! 

[At this moment, Colonel Knowlton, looking 
up, sees that all is ready. 

Colonel Knowlton. [With a motion to the 
men, and to the chairs.] Brother soldiers! 

[They take their places in the chairs according to 
their military rank. Hale in the last row, 
behind all the otJiers, Colonel Knowlton 
takes his chair behind the table, Jasper 
draws the heavy brocade curtains in front of the 
window recess, and in so doing discovers Alice. 
He starts, but, with her finger on her lips, she 
motions him to be silent. None of the others 
know she is there, Tom Adams enters in 
Continental soldier^s uniform. He gives the 
military salute, 

Tom. Uncle, may I be present? * 



NATHAN HALE 501 

Colonel Knowlton. Yes, my boy, if no one 
has any objection. [He looks at the other men, hut 
they all murmur, "Oh, no, no " and "Certainly 
not,'' and Tom takes his place beside HalI: at the 
hack,] That is all, Jasper, and we are not to be 
interrupted. 

Jasper. Yaas, sir. 

Colonel Knowlton. Not on pain of im- 
prisonment, Jasper. 

Jasper. Nobody's not gwine to get into this 
hyah room, Colonel, with ole Jasper outside the 
door, not even King George hisself, honey. 

\With a stolen look toward the window where 
Alice is hiding, he goes out. Right. A 
moment^s important silence. The men are all 
composed, serious. 

Colonel Knowlton. [Who has taken a letter 
from his pocket,] Gentlemen, I will first read you 



5oi NATHAN HALE 

portions of a letter from General Washington to 
General Heath, forwarded to me with the request 
from headquarters that I should siunmon you 
here to-day. [He reads.] " The fate of the whole 
war depends upon obtaining intelligence of the 
enemy's motions; I do most earnestly entreat 
you and General Clinton to exert yoiu-selves to 
accomplish this most desirable end. I was never 
more uneasy than on accoimt of my want of 
knowledge on this score. // is vital. ^^ [He closes 
the letter, and places it in his breast pocket.] Gen- 
tlemen, General Heath, General Clinton, and 
General Washington together have decided there 
is but one thing to be done. [A tnotnenfs pause.] 
A competent person must be sent, in disguise, into 
the British camp on Long Island, to find out these 
secrets on which depends everything! It must be 
a man with some experience in military affairs. 



NATHAN HALE 503 

with some scientific knowledge, -^ a man of educa- 
tion, one with a quick eye, a cool head, and 
courage, — unflinching courage ! He will need 
tact and caution, and, above all, he must be one 
in whose judgment and fidelity the American 
Nation may have implicit confidence! I have 
summoned those men associated with me in the 
command of our Army, whom I personally think 
capable of meeting all these requirements. To 
the man who offers his services, in compensation 
for the risks he must run, is given the opportimity 
of serving his country supremely! Does any 
one of the men of this company, now before me, 
volunteer? \He ends solemnly and most impres- 
sively. There is a long pause ; the men do not move^ 
and keep their faces set, staring before them. After 
waiting in vain for some one to speak, Knowlton 
continties.] Not one? Have I pleaded so feebly 



504 NATHAN HALE 

in behalf of my country, then ? Or have I failed 
in placing her dire necessity before you ? Surely 
you don't need me to tell you how our Conti- 
nental Army is weak, wasted, unfed, unclothed, 
unsupplied with ammunition. We could not 
stand a long siege, nor can we stand a sudden 
combined attack. We must know beforehand, 
and escape from both, should either be planned ! 
After fighting bravely, as we have, are we to lose 
all we have gained, the liberty within our grasp 
at this late day ? No ! One of you will come 
forward ! What is it your country asks of you ? 
Only to be a hero 1 

Hull. No! To be a spy ! 

[A murmur of assent from the men. 

Captain Adams. There's not a man amongst 
us who wouldn't lead a handful of men against a 
regiment of the English ! who wouldn't fight for 



NATHAN HALE 505 

liberty in the very mouth of the cannon ! But 
this is a request not meant for men like us. 

Hull. [Looking at the other men.] We are all 
true patriots here, I take it ! 

All. Aye I Aye! Patriots! 

Hull. [A ppealing to the men,] Are we the men 
to be called on to play a part which every nation 
looks upon with scorn and contimaely? 

All. No! No! 

Hull. [Turning again to Yjhowltqh/^.] I would 
give my life for my country, but not my honor! 

All. Hear! Hear! 

Colonel Knowlton. Butj do you under- 
stand? Do you realize all that's at stake? 

All. Yes! Yes! 

Colonel Knowlton. Then surely one of you 
will come forward in response to this desperate 
appeal from your Chief. In the name of Wash- 



5o6 NATHAN HALE 

ington, I ask for a volunteer ! [He waits. Silence 
again. He rises,] Men! Listen to me! Shall 
our fathers and brothers, killed on the field of 
battle, be sacrificed for nothing? Will you stand 
still beside their dead bodies and see our hero, 
George Washington, shot down before your eyes 
as a traitor? Will you accept oppression again, 
and give up Liberty, now youVe won it? Or is 
there, in the name of God, one man among you 
to come forward with his life and his honor in his 
hands to lay down, if needs be, for his coimtry? 

[After a short pause, Hale rises, pale, but calm. 

Hale. / will imdertake it ! 

[General surprise, not unmixed with consternation^ 
and all murmur, questioningly, "Hale!" A 
short pause. 

Colonel Knowlton. Captain Nathan Hale — 

[Hale comes forward. 



NATHAN HALE 507 

Captain Adams. [Interrupting^ rises,] I pro- 
test against allowing Captain Hale to go on this 
errand ! 

Hull. And I ! 

All. And I ! And I ! 

Captain Adams. Captain Hale is too valuable 
a member of the Army for us to risk losing. [He 
turns to Hale.] Hale, you can't do this! You 
haven't the right to sacrifice the brilliant prospects 
of your life 1 The hopes of your family, of your 
friends, of us, your fellow-soldiers! Let some 
one else volunteer; you must withdraw your 
oflEer. 

[A second's pause. All look at Hale question- 
ingly. 

Hale. [Quietly,] Colonel Knowlton, I repeat 
my offer ! 

Captain Adams. [Rising, excitedly] No! 



So8 NATHAN HALE 

We are all opposed to it ! Surely we have some 
influence with you! It is to certain death that 
you are needlessly exposing yourself ! 

Hale. Needlessly? 

Hull. [Also rising, excitedly,] It is to more 
than certain death, — it is to an ignominious one ! 
Captain Hale, as a member of your own regiment, 
I ask you not to undertake this! [Hale shakes 
his head simply.] We will find some one else! 
Some one who can be more easily spared. [Here 
he loses his manner of soldier, and speaks impul- 
sively as a boy.] Nathan — dear old man ! — * 
We were schoolboys together, and for the love we 
bore each other then, and have ever since, for the 
love of all those who love you and whom you 
hold dear, I beg you to Usten to me 1 

Hale. [Looks at Hull with a smile of affection 
and gratitude, and turns to Knowlton.] I imder- 



NATHAN HALE 509 

stand, sir, there is no one else ready to perform 
this business? 

Colonel Knowlton. I must confess there is 
no one, Captain. 
Hale. Then I say again, I will go. 
Tom . [Hurrying forward.] Mr. Hale I — Sir ! 
— Captain ! [Seizes Hale^s hand,] For the 
sake of my sis — 

[He is interrupted quickly and suddenly by Hale, 
who places his hand on his mouth to prevent his 
speaking the rest. Hale takes a long breathy 
sets his jace^ then gives Tom's hand a mighty 
grip, and puts him behind him. 
Hale. [Who is much moved, but gradually con- 
trols himself.] Gentlemen, I thank you all for 
the affection you have shown me, but I think I 
owe to my country the accomplishment of an 
object so important and so much desired by the 



5IO NATHAN HALE 

Commander of her armies. I am fully sensible 
of the consequences of discovery and capture in 
such a situation, but I hold that every kind of 
service necessary for the public good becomes 
honorable by being necessary ! And my country's 
claims upon me are imperious ! 

[Unnoticed by the men, Alice draws aside the 
curtains, and comes slowly forward during 
Colonel Knowlton's following speech. 

Colonel Knowlton. [Rises, and going to 
Hale, shakes his hand with deep feeling,] Manly, 
wise, and patriotic words, sir, which I am sure 
your country will not forget ! I — I will call for 
you this afternoon to appear before Washington. 
Gentlemen, this conference is finished. 

[A general movement of the men is immediately 
arrested by Alice's voice. 

Alice. No ! It is not ! 



NATHAN HALE 511 

Captain Adams. Alice ! 
[Alice is white, haggard, ** beside herself J^ 
She is oblivious of all bid Hale. She goes to 
him, and, seizing his wrist, holds U in a tight 
bid trembling grasp, 
Alice. [In a low, hoarse whisper.] Your 
promise to me ! Your promise ! 
Hale. [Surprised,] Do you hold me to it? 
Alice. Yes! 

Hale. Then I must break it 1 
Alice. No! I refuse to free you. You have 
given two years of your life to your coimtry. 
It must give me the rest. It*s my share! It*s 
my right! 

[She holds otU her two arms toward him. 
Hale. Still, I must do my duty. ^ X v , ( i 

Alice. [Her hands drop to her side.] And / 

what about your duty to me! 



512 NATHAN HALE 

Hale. [Takes one of her hands, and holds it in 
his own,] Could you love a coward ? 

Alice. Yes, if he were a coward for my sake. 

Hale. I don't believe you ! 

Alice. It is true, and if you love me, you'll 
stay! 

Hale. If — ifl love you ! 

Alice. Yes, if you love me! Choose! If 
you go on this mission, it is the end of our love 1 
Choose ! 

[She draws away her hand. 

Hale. There can be no such choice, — it 
would be an insult to believe you. 

Alice. [In tearftd, despairing entreaty.] You 
heard them — it's to death you're going. 

Hale. Perhaps — 

Alice. [In a whisper,] You will go? 

Hale. I must ! 



NATHAN HALE 513 

Alice. [A wild cry,] Then I hate you ! 

Hale. And I love you, and always will, so long 
as a heart beats in my body. 

[He wishes to embrace her. 

Alice. No! 

[She draws hack her head, her eyes blazing ; she is 
momentarily insane with fear and grief and 
love. Hale bows his head and slowly goes 
from the room, Alice, with a faint, heart- 
broken cry, sinks limply to the floor, her father 
hurrying to her, as 

the curtain falls 



ACT THE THIRD 

The First Scene. September^ iy^6. Long 
Islandy opposite Norwalk. The Widow Chi- 
chester's Inn. Time: Night. A party of 
British officers and soldiers^ including Cunning- 
ham, and also some men in dviUan^s dresSy are 
discovered drinking, the Widow serving them. 
At the curtain, they are singing a jolly drinking 
song. As the Widow refills each m^gy each 
soldier takes some slight liberty with her^ pinches 
her arm, or puts his arm about her waist^ or 
kisses her wrist, or ''nips" her cheek; she takes 
it all good-naturedly, laughing, and sometimes 
slapping them, or pushing them away^ andjoin^ 
ing them in their song. At the end of ike song 



5i8 NATHAN HALE 

citizen^ s dress of brown doth and a broads 
brimmed hat. No notice is taken of him, except 
by the Widow, who gives him a niMg amd a 
drinky and watches him a Utile cuHomdy 
through the scene. 
FiTZROY. Here's death to George Washington! 
All. Hurrah ! Death to George Washington I 
[Hale has suddenly fixed his eyes on FnzkOY, 
and shows that he finds something familiar in 
his voice and manner , and is trying to recall 
him. Hale has, at the giving of this toast, 
lost control of his muscles for a moment, — 
lost hold of his mug ; — it drops, and the liquor 
spills. As the others put their mugs down. 
Hale is stooping to pick up his. The noise 
when he dropped the mug, and his f Mowing 
actions, bring him into notice. He comes 
forward as Fitzroy goes up stage. 



NATHAN HALE 519 

Cunningham. Hello! Who's this? 

All. Hello! Hello! 

[FiTZROY doesnH pay much attention; he is 
talking with the Widow at the bar. 

Hale. Gentlemen, I am an American, loyal 
to the King, but of very small account to His 
Majesty. 

Cunningham. {Tipping back his chair,] 
What's your name? 

Hale. Daniel Beacon. 

First Soldier. What's your business here? 

Hale. Fma teacher, but the Americans drove 
me out of my school. 

Cunningham. [Crossing behind Hale to the bar, 
where he gets another drink,] For your loyalty, eh ? 

Hale. Yes — for my loyalty. 

First Soldier. [Bringing his fist down hard on 
the table,] The damned rebels! 



S20 NATHAN HALE 

Hale. I an. in hopes I can find a position of 
some sort over here. 

Widow. [Who has been half listening.] Can't 
you teach these soldiers something ? Lord knows 
they're ignorant enough! 

[Comes out from behind the bar, and places a big 
flagon of wine on the table. Takes away the 
empty flagon. 
First Soldier. Widdy! Widdy! 

[All laugh, FiTZROY joins them again. 
Widow. [Behind the men at table,] Well, 
have you heard what the Major here says" — you 
drunken, lazy sots? 
Cunningham. What's that? 
FiTZROY. General Howe's new plans. 

[The men lean over the table to hear. 
Cunningham. Are we to make a move ? 
[FiTZROY nods his head impressively several 



NATHAN HALE 521 

times. The men look at each other and nod 
their heads. 

Widow. [Poking Cunningham with her elbow,] 
Bad news for you, lazy! Lord! How the 
fellow does love the rear rank! 

Cunningham. Shut up ! Let's hear the news ! 

Widow. You've a nice way of speaking to 
ladies! 

Cunningham. [Growls in disgust,] Bah ! 

FiTZROY. It comes straight from headquarters ! 
[The men gather more closely about Fitzroy, — 
Hale with them, with calm, pale face, showing his 
suppressed excitement, Fitzroy continues in lower 

ff 

tones,] General Howe is going to force his way 
up the Hudson, and get to the north of New 
York Island. 

[An instantaneous expression of fear crosses 
Hale's /ace. 



522 NATHAN HALE 

Cunningham. [Grunts.] Huh! What's that 
for? 

Widow. Ninny! 

FiTZROY. Use your brains ! 

Widow. [Laughing,] Vsthhwhaif 

FiTZROY. Hush, Widow Chic I If we can get 
to the north of New York Island without their 
being warned, we'U catch Washington, and cage 
what is practically the whole American army! 
They'll have to surrender or fight under odds they 
can never withstand. 

First Soldier. Well I What's to prevent the 
scheme? 

FiTZROY. Nothing, imless the Americans should 
be warned. 

Cunningham. If they have an inkling of it, 
they can prevent us getting up the Hudson, eh? 

FiTZROY. Precisely. In any case, if they're 



NATHAN HALE 523 

« 

warned it won't be tried, because Washington 
wouldn't be trapped, and, after all, Washington 
is the man we want to get hold of. 

Cunningham. Wring Washington's damned 
neck, and we won't have any more of this crying 
for liberty ! 

FiTZROY. The expedition is planned for to- 
morrow night, and there's practically no chance 
for him to be warned before then. 

First Soldier. Have you authority for this, 
sir? 

FiTZROY. The orders are being issued now, — 
it's been an open secret among the men for two 
days. Down at the Ferry Station the betting is, 
this business finishes the rebellion. [Tf^ Widow, 
in answer to a signal from one of the men, comes 
out from behind the bar, with another flagon of 
ivine,] They're giving big odds. 



524 NATHAN HALE 

Cunningham. Can't finish it too soon to 
please me ! [Rises unsteadily,] Fighting's dan- 
gerous work. 

Widow. [Filling his cup,] That's a brave 
soldier for ye ! 

Cunningham. Shut up, damn you ! 
Widow. I'll shut when I please. 
Cunningham. You'll shut when I say ! You 
old hagi 
Widow. "Hag!" 

[Slaps his face, 
Cunningham. Hell ! 

[Throws the wine in his mug in her face. Hale, 
who has sprung up, knocks his mug out of his 
hand with a blow. 
Hale. You coward ! 

[All the soldiers show excitement. Several rise. 
Widow goes to the bar, wiping the win^ from 
her face; she is crying, but soon controls herself. 



NATHAN HALE 525 

Cunningham. What damn business is it of 
yours? 

Hale. It's every man's business to protect a 
woman from a brute ! 

Cunningham. Hear the pretty teaching gentle- 
man quote from his Reader ! 

FiTZROY. [Rises, He has noticed Hale for the 
first time,] Who is this? 

Hale. Daniel Beacon. 

Cunningham. A teacher the Rebs have driven 
out of New York. 

FiTZROY. \Who has looked at Hale curiously^ 
turns to the Widow.] Have you ever seen him 
before? 

Widow. Not to my knowledge. 

FiTZROY. [At the bar with the VfiDO^.] There's 
a something about him damn familiar to me. 
I'm suspicious! Here you, Beacon, how do we 
know you're not some Rebel sneak ? 



526 NATHAN HALE 

All. [Rising,] What's that? 

Cunningham. That's true enough! What's 
your opinions? 

All. Make him speak! Make him speak! 
[A general movement among the soldiers. 

FiTZROY. Yes, if you are a loyalist, give us a 
taste of your sentiments I 

Cunningham. A toast will do 1 Give us a toast! 
[FiTZROY turns aside to the Widow. 

All. [In a general movement, seizing Hale, they 
put him on top of table,] Come on, give us a toast ! 

FiTZROY. [To the Widow.] I'm suspicious of. 
this fellow! I've seen him somewhere before. 

[He looks at Hale attentively, unable to recaU him. 

All. Give us a rouser! There you are! 
Now, give us something hot ! 

Cunningham. A toast for the King, and then 
one with a wench in it. 



NATHAN HALE 527 

Hale. Here's a health to King George! 
May right triumph, and wrong suffer defeat I 
All. Hip! Hip! To the King! 
\All drink except Hale, who only pretends, 
which FiTZROY, who is watching intently, 
notices. 
FiTZROY. [To //re Widow.] He didn't drink! 
I am sure of it ! 
Widow. No ! / think he did ! 
Cunningham. Now for the wench ! 
Hale. To the Widow Chic — God bless her ! 
[All laugh, except Cunningham, who says, 
Bah !" and ostentatiously spills his liquor on 
the floor. 
Hale and All. The Widow Chic! Hip! 
Hip! 
[All drink, and then the soldiers take Hale down, 
and all talk together, slapping each other on 



ti 



528 NATHAN HALE 

the backy drinking, starting another sang, 
etc. Hale sits by the table, 
FiTZROY. [To the Widow, suddenly,] By God ! 
Now I know ! 

[In a voice of conviction and alarm. 
Widow. [Frightened by his voice and manner] 
What? 

FiTZROY. Who he is! He's my girl's white- 
livered lover, one named Hale ! 
Widow. Are you sure? 

FiTZROY. Almost, — and if I'm right, he's 
doing spy's work here ! Get plenty of liquor. If 
we can drug him he may disclose himself ! Any- 
way, we'll loosen his tongue ! 

[Widow exits at back, with an empty flagon, 
FiTZROY joins Hale and the other soldiers; 
as he does so, Hale rises; he has grown uneasy 
under Fitzroy's scrutiny. 



NATHAN HALE 531 

FiTZROY. Here's another for you. The toast 

of a sly wench, and a prim one, who flaunts a 

damned Yankee lover in my face! But IVe 

kissed her lips already, and before I'm through 

with her, if she won't be my wife, by God, I'll 

make her my mistress ! Drink to my success with 

the prettiest maid in the colonies ! — Alice Adams ! 

All. To Alice Adams ! Hip ! Hip ! 

[All hold up their glasses with lotid cries y and then 

drink. Hale again manages to spill his 

liquor, and pretends to drink, Fitzroy jumps 

down from the chair and table to beside Hale. 

Fitzroy. [Loudly, fiercely, to Hale.] You 

didn't drink ! I watched your damned throat, 

and not a drop went down it ! 

[General movement of the soldiers. All rise; 

excitement. 
All. Show us your cup ! Show us your cup ! 



S30 NATHAN HALE 

[He sits again at the table. The soldiers start 
up singing ''The Three Grenadiers,** They 
all sing and drink. 
FiTZROY. [Interrupts them.] Stq[> Ringing a 
moment 1 Fill up, everybody I I have a bumper 
or two to give in honor of our guest here ! \He 
stands on a chair, with one foot on the tallies waichr 
ing Hale closely.] Here's to New London, Con- 
necticut, and the schoolhouse there I 
Cunningham. Danm silly toast ! 
Hale. Never you mind, it's an excuse for a 
drink! 
[All repeat the first part of toast, but they are 
getting thick'tonguedy and all come to grief over 
the word ''Connecticut.^^ Hale has answered 
Fitzroy's look without flinching, but has 
managed to spill his liquor. All refill their 
glasses, singing. 



NATHAN HALE 531 

FiTZROY. Here's another for you. The toast 

of a sly wench, and a prim one, who flaunts a 

damned Yankee lover m my face! But IVe 

kissed her lips already, and before I'm through 

with her, if she won't be my wife, by God, I'll 

make her my mistress ! Drink to my success with 

the prettiest maid in the colonies ! — Alice Adams ! 

All. To Alice Adams ! Hip ! Hip ! 

[All hold up their glasses with loud cries, and then 

drink. Hale again manages to spill his 

liquor, and pretends to drink. Fitzroy jumps 

down from the chair and table to beside Hale. 

Fitzroy. [Loudly, fiercely, to Hale.] You 

didn't drink ! I watched your danmed throat, 

and not a drop went down it ! 

[General movement of the soldiers. All rise; 

excitement. 
All. Show us your cup ! Show us your cup ! 



S32 NATHAN HALE 

[Hale, with a sneering laugh, holds his glass above 
his head, and turns it upside down; it is empty, 

Cunningham. What's the matter with you? 
He knows good liquor when he tastes it ! 

[^11 laugh drunkerUy; general movement again. 
All retake their seats, and continue singing. 
Hale looks defiantly in Fitzroy's face^ and 
throws his cup on the floor. 

Hale. Good night, gentlemen ! 

All. [Drunkenly.] Good night, good night! 

[Hale goes out by the door at hack, shown by the 
Widow, who exits with him, taking a candle. 
One of the soldiers is asleep; Cunningham is 
on the floor; another under the table; they 
are singing in a sleepy, drunken way, FiTZ- 
ROY writes a letter rapidly on paper, which he 
finds on the corner of the bar. He finishes it, 

Cunningham. [On the floor, his head afid arms 



NATHAN HALE 533 

on the chair, whining.] I'm thirsty! Won't 
some kind person please give me a drink? 

FiTZROY. [Kicking him with his foot to make 
him get up,] Get up! Get up, I say! I have 
an errand for you ! 

Cunningham. [Rising, steadies himself against 
the chair,] What is it ? 

FiTZROY. This man is a spy — 

Cunningham. Hurrah! \Waves the arm with 
which he was steadying himself, and almost loses his 
balance,] We'll hang him up to the first tree! 

FiTZROY. Wait ! We must prove it first, and 
I have thought of a plan. Take a horse and ride 
like hell to the Ferry Station. Cross to New York, 
and give this letter to General Howe. He will 
see that you are conducted to a Colonel Knowl- 
ton's house, with a letter from him to a young 
lady who is staying there. 



S34 NATHAN HALE 

Cunningham. \Who is a little drunk, throwing 
hack his shoulders and swaggering a bit,] A young 
lady ! Ah, Major, youVe hit on the right man 
for your business this time! 

FiTZROY. Don't interrupt, you drunken fool, 
but listen to what I am telling you ! The let- 
ter will say that Captain Nathan Hale is here, 
wounded, and wishes to see his sweetheart, Alice 
Adams, before he dies. If you are questioned, cor- 
roborate that, you imderstand ? A young man 
named Hale is here, woimded ! That's who the 
fellow upstairs is, I'm very well nigh certain ! The 
girl's in love with him — she'll come — and if it is 
Hale we've got here, we're likely to know it — if 
it isn't, well, no harm done ! 

Cunningham. Very pretty! Just the kind 
of business I like. 

FiTZROY. Your password on this side will be 



NATHAN HALE 535 

"Love." Are you sober enough to remember 
that? 

Cunningham. {In a maudlin voice,} " Love ! " 
You do me an injustice, Major ! 

[With a half 'tipsy effort at dignity. 

FiTZROY. Mind you don't speak my name. 
You come at General Howe's orders. 

Cunningham. Diplomacy was always my 
forte. Fighting's much too common work! 

FiTZROY. Go on, now. There's no time to be 
lost! I want the girl here by daybreak, before 
the dog's up and off. 

Cunningham. You guarantee, Major, that the 
girl's pretty ? 

FiTZROY. [Turning on him] What ! None of 
that! She's my property! You'd better not 
forget that. No poaching on my preserves! 

Cunningham. [Doggedly] I understand, sir. 



536 NATHAN HALE 

[Salutes and exits. All the soldiers are asleep. 
The Widow comes back. FixzROY iums a 
chair to face the fire, 
FiTZROY. Bring more liquor. 

[He throws himself into the chair. 

Widow. More? at this hour? 

FiTZROY. [Loosening his neck-gear.] Yes, 

enough to last till morning. [To himself.] I 

warned her some day I would set to and drink 

myself mad for her! And the time's cornel 

[The stage darkens. 
The Second Scene. Outside the Widow Chi- 
chester's. Very early the next morning. The 
scene represents the front of the house, — a law, 
rambling structure of gray stone, with a parch 
and a gabled roof, in which is the window of 
Fitzroy's bedroom. There is a weU-sweep on 
the Left, and a sign-post beside the road. There 



NATHAN HALE 537 

are trees and shrubs on each side. It is just at 
sunrise. As dawn begins y a cock is heard crowing 
behind the house, answered by a second cock, and 
by others. The sun rises arid floods the scene. 

The Widow is heard unbolting the door, and comes 
out on to the porch, carrying the mugs of the night 
before, which she has washed arid which she 
places on a bench in the sun, A bugle call is 
heard, and, while she is arranging the mugs, 
Three Soldiers come out from the house. 
The Three Soldiers. [On the porch, saluting 

with elaborate politeness,] Good morning, Widow 

Chic. 
Widow. [Imitating their salute,] God bless 

you and King George! [The soldiers leave the 

porch, and start of. Right,] Where are you off to, 

this early? 
First Soldier. [^4^ he speaks, all three stop and 



538 NATHAN HALE 

turn.] On picket duty, between here and the 
Ferry Station. The Major's orders. 

[FiTZROY appears in the upstairs window, open^ 

ing the shutters; he is without his coat; he 

is dishevelled and bloated; he looks as if he had 

not been to bed, 

FiTZROY. Here, you men! No loitering! 

YouVe no time to lose ! Remember, you're to 

pass no one but the girl, Alice Adams, with 

Cunningham. If she's brought any one with 

her, man, woman, or child, don't let 'em pass. 

The Three Soldiers. [Salute.] Yes, sir. 

[They start to go. 
FiTZROY. Burnham! 
First Soldier. [Salutes.] Yes, sir? 
FiTZROY. Have you your bugle with you? 
First Soldier. Yes, sir. 
FiTZROY. Well, you change with Smith, then ; 



NATHAN HALE 539 

take his position nearest to the Ferry, and sound 
a warning the moment they pass, that I may know 
here they're coming, and be ready. 

First Soldier. [Salutes.] Yes, sir. 

FiTZROY. That's all. [The Three Soldiers 
saltUe and go off down the roady Right, Fitzroy 
calls.] Widow Chic! 

Widow. [Coming down from the porch, and 
looking up at Fitzroy.] 'Yes, Major. 

Fitzroy. We're going to have some pretty 
sport here, presently. 

Widow. I hope it's no harm to the young 
teacher who took my part last night, sir. 

Fitzroy. Damme! You're sweet on him, 
too ! He's quite a lady-killer. 

[He laughs satirically, and disappears from the 
window, leaving the shutters open. Hale 
opens the door and comes out on to the porch. 



S40 NATHAN HALE 

Hale. Good morning, madam. 

Widow. [With a curtsey.] Good morning^ sir ; 
the Lord bless you and King Georgel 

Hale. Ahem! By the way, where is my 
horse? Has she had a good night? 

Widow. She's tethered right there, sir. 
[Pointing of Right,] In the bushes. It's the 
best I could do, having no bam. I told the boy 
to feed her the first thing, sir. 

[Hale goes to the Right as she speaks. The 
Widow stands watching him. 

Hale. [Passes out of sight among the trees and 
bushes.] Ah! Betsy, old girl! [He is heard 
patting the horse.] How is it, eh? Had a good 
night, my beauty? Hungry? Oh, no, you've 
had your breakfast, haven't you? [He is heard 
patting her again,] That's good! Be ready to 
start in a few minutes now. [He comes back inio 



NATHAN HALE 541 

sight,] Will you kindly ask the boy to saddle 
' her at once, madam ? 

[FiTZROY comes out on to the porch. 
Widow. Certainly, sir. 

[Goes into house, 
FiTZROY. Good morning. 
Hale. Good morning. 

FiTZROY. [Leaning against a pillar of the porch,] 
I have a pleasant surprise for you. 

Hale. [Suspicious, walking slowly across the 
stage to hide his nervousness,] That is a sufficient 
surprise in itself. 

FiTZROY. I am expecting a visitor for you, 
every moment now. 

Hale. [Involuntarily stops a second and turns,] 
A visitor ? 

[He continues walking, 
FiTZROY. For you. 



542 NATHAN HALE 

Hale. [More suspiciousy but an kis guard,] 
Who? 

FiTZROY. Alice Adams. [Hale does not make 
any movement, hut he cannot avoid an expression oj 
mingled fear and surprise flashing across his face 
— it is so slight that, though Fitzroy does see it, 
he cannot be sure that it is anything. Hale con- 
tinues to walk, returning from Left to Right, Fitz- 
roy comes down from the porch, and meets Hale as 
he crosses] You change color! 

Hale. [Quietly, himself again completely] Do 
I? 

\Walks on toward Right, 

Fitzroy. [Looking after him,] Yes — Nathan 
Hale! 

Hale. \Walks on with his back to Fitzroy.1 
Nathan what? 

Fitzroy. Nathan Hale! And you are here. 



NATHAN HALE 543 

stealing information of our movements for the 
Rebel Army ! If I can only prove it — 

[He is interrupted. 

Hale. [Turning sharply.] If ! 

FiTZROY. And I will prove it ! 

Hale. [Walking towards Fitzroy, now from 
Right,] Indeed! How? 

Fitzroy. If Cunningham has carried out my 
instructions, he has gone to Alice with a note 
from General Howe, saying that Nathan Hale 
is wounded and dying here, and wishes to see 
her ! I think that will bring her readily enough 
— in which case we ought to hear them pass the 
sentinels, any moment now! 

[A short pause, Fitzroy watching for the effect 
on Hale of every word he speaks. They 
stand face to face. 

Hale. And who is Nathan Hale? 



544 NATHAN HALE 

FiTZROY. A damned rebel fool the girPs 
sweet on. If you are he, and she is brought 
face to face with you, alive, whom she fears 
to find dead, she's- sure to make some sign of 
recognition, if I know women, and that sign will 
cost you your life ! 

Hale. It's a dastardly trick to make such use 
of a woman! 

FiTZROY. All's fair in love and war, and this 
is a case of both, for I love the girl, too. 

Hale. And if I'm not — [hesitates] what's his 
name — [Fitzroy sneers] the man you think me? 

FiTZROY. Oh, well, then, no harm's done. 
Meanwhile, you needn't try to get away before 
she comes. I've placed pickets all about, with 
orders who's to pass and not. 

[The Widow comes from the house, carrying a 
horse's saddle. 



NATHAN HALE 545 

Widow. That boy's gone to the village; I 
will have to saddle your horse myself, sir. 

[Going toward the Right, 

FiTZROY. [Passing behind Hale to the Widow.] 
I'm himgry, Widow Chic! Is there a swallow 
of coffee and a bite of bread ready? I haven't 
time for more. 

[With a meaning look toward Hale. 

Widow. Yes, in the kitchen. 

FiTZROY. [Goes on to the porch, and there turns 
on the steps to say to Hale :] Don't be alarmed. 
I won't miss your meeting ; I shall be on hand. 

[Goes into the house. 

Hale. [Quickly going after Widow. In half- 
lowered tones y and showing suspense and sup- 
pressed excitement,] Madam ! 

Widow. Yes, sir? 

Hale. [Taking her by the arm, kindly,] Dear 



546 NATHAN HALE 

madam, you thanked me last night for striking 
that dog of a soldier who had his cup raised 
against you — 

Widow. Ah, sir, it's many a day since Fve 
been protected by any man, let alone a handsome 
young beau like you, sir. 

\WUh a curtsey. 

Hale. [Bows,] Thank you, madam. Will 
you also do me a favor in return? 

Widow. That I will, sir. 

Hale. Then quick, leave the saddle by the 
horse to arrange on your return, and go a bit 
down the road toward the Ferry Station. Wait 
there ! When you see Cunningham — 

Widow. The brute who wanted to strike me ? 

Hale. Yes ! — riding along with a girl, make 
some motion to her, wave your hand or ker- . 
chief or something. Do anything to attract her 



NATHAN HALE 547 

I 

attention, if possible, without attracting his, 
and at the same time place your fingers on your 
lips — so! [Showing her.] You don't under- 
stand, and neither will she, perhaps! But a 
life is at stake, and it's a chance, and my only 
one — 

Widow. Wave my hand, and do so? 

Hale. Yes. She is the girl I love, madam, 
and I ask you to do this for me! 

Widow. And, sir, I will. 

[Hale starts , and listens as if he heard something. 

Hale. Quick! Run, for the love of God, or 
you may be too late! [The Widow hurries of, 
Right. The saddle is heard falling in the hushes 
where she throws it. Hale shakes his head doubt- 
fully as to the success of his plan; he goes 
to the Right and speaks to the horse.] Betty ! 
Ah! Bless your heart! Be ready, old girl. 



548 NATHAN HALE 

I may need you soon, to race away from death 

with ! Be ready, old girl. 

[During the end of this speech^ Fitzroy comes 

out on to the porch, carrying a cojfee bawl in 

his hand, from which he drinks. He doesn't 

hear Hale's words. 

Fitzroy. That's a good horse of yours, Mr. 

Beacon. [Drinks the coffee. Hale starts very 

slightly and turns, looks scornfully ai Fitzroy, and 

crosses stage sloivly.] Our friends are late ! [He 

starts to drink again, but just as the bowl touches 

his lips, a far-off bugle call of warning is heard. 

Both Hale and Fitzroy start, and stand stilly 

except that very slowly the hand with the bawl 

sinks down from Fitzroy's lips, as the head very 

slowly lifts, his eyes wide open, a smile of expectant 

triumph on his face. Hale is at the Left, FrrzROY 

is on the porch steps, as the bugle stops. FiTZROY 



NATHAN HALE 549 

hurls away the^ bawl, from which some coffee is 
spUledy and which is broken as it strikes, while he 
cries out:] They're coming ! 

[He comes down the steps. 
Second Picket's Voice. [Off stage, Right, at a 
far distance,] Who goes there? 

Cunningham. \Faroff,] Charles Cunningham, 
with Miss Alice Adams, on private business. 
Second Picket. Your password? 
Cunningham. [In a sneering voice.] "Love!" 
[FiTZROY listens till Cunningham's reply is 
finished; then turns quickly to look at Hale, 
whose face shows nothing. The sound of the 
horse^s hoofs is heard coming nearer and 
nearer. After a few seconds, the Third 
Picket is heard, 
Tehrd Picket. [Off stage at a distance,] Who 
goes there? 



5SO NATHAN HALE 

Cunningham. [Nearer.] Charles Cunningham^ 
with Miss Alice Adams, on private business. 
Third Picket. Your password? 
Cunningham. [Again in a sneering voice.] 
**Love!" [The horse* s hoofs are heard coming 
closer, and then stop. There is the noise of dis- 
mounting in the hushes.] Here ! just tie these safe I 
Come along now, Miss ! 
[Cunningham and Alice come on, Righi. 

Alice's eyes fall first on Fit2»oy. 
Alice. You here ! 

[FiTZROY doesnH answer, but, turning his face 
and eyes to Hale, directs with his hand Allce^s 
gaze in that direction, and then he quickly turns 
his eyes upon Alice, to watch her face. She 
very slowly follows his glance to Hale, rests her 
eyes on his a full minute without making any 
recognition, and then turns to Cunningham. 



NATHAN HALE 551 



Alice. Where is Captain Hale? Why don't 
you take me to him at once? 

FiTZROY. [In a rage.] She's been warned! 
Who's spoiled my plot ? 
[Going menacingly to Cunningham. At this ac- 
tion, there is one moment when, unseen, Alice 
and Nathan's eyes can seek each other, hut only 
for a moment, 
Cunningham. Not I ! It has spoiled my fim, 
too. 

FiTZROY. [To Alice.] That's your lover, and 
you know it! I only saw him a few moments 
in his schoolhouse, but I can't have so bad a 
memory for a face as all that. 

[Widow is heard singing " The Three Grenadiers*^ 
in the hushes at Right, where she is tying the 
horses, 
Alice. They told me Captain Hale^ was 



552 NATHAN It ALE 

here, and dying! Who played this trick on 
me? 

[Looking blankly at Hale, and then at Cun- 
ningham and FiTZROY. 

FiTZROY. Well, isnH he here? 

[Motioning to Hale. 

Alice. [To Fitzroy.] It was you^ of course ! 
You who have forced me to this ride through 
the night, half dead with fear, and all for a lie ! 
Well, mark my word, you will lose your commis- 
sion for this ! Rebels or no rebels, we have our 
rights as human beings, and General Howe is a 
gentleman who will be the first to punish a 
trick like you have played on a woman ! 

Fitzroy. [Going to Alice.] We'll see what 
General Howe will do when I give into his hands 
a man who has been stealing information of our 
movements for the Rebel Army, — who has been 



NATHAN HALE 553 

working for the destruction of the King's men, — 
and I will do this yet ! You've been waraed by 
some one! I'll question the pickets, and if 1 
find one of them the traitor — [to Hale, crossing 
before Alice] he'll hang ahead of you to let the 
Devil know you're coming. [^4 look at Hale, then 
he recrosses before Alice to Cunningham.] There 
are men picketed all about — you need not 
hang around unless you want to. [Aside to 
Cunningham.] I shall steal back behind the 
house, and watch them from inside; make 
some excuse to go in, too. I want you ready 
by the door. [He goes of, Right, 

Alice. [To Cunningham, going toward him,] 
Aren't you going to take me back? 

Cunningham. Well, not just this minute. 
Mistress. I've a hankering for some breakfast, 
when the Widow Chic comes back. 



554 NATHAN HALE 

[He crosses behind her, strolls about in earshot 
and outj keeping an eye on them every aOier 
moment. He goes first to the old Vfell, a$ the 
Left. 

Hale. [To Alice.] You were brought here, 
Mistress — ? 

Alice. [With a curtsey.] Adams, sir. 

Hale. Adams, to see Captain Hale? I used 
to know him; he taught the same school with 
me. [He adds quickly in a low voice, Cunningham 
being out of hearing.] A woman warned you? 

Alice. [Low, quickly.] Yes ! [Then aloud, in 
a conventional voice, as Cunningham moves^ 
I was his scholar once. 

Hale. You were? 

Alice. Yes, in many things, but most of 
all in — love ! 

[Added in an undertone. In their conversaHon^ 



NATHAN HALE 555 

they keep a constant lookout about them, and, 
when they see themselves out of Cunningham's 
hearing, they drop their voices a little, and 
speak seriously. In Alice's speech just 
now, for instance, she adds the word ^'love^^ 
in a voice full of emotion and sentiment, 
seeing Cunningham is for the moment aid of 
hearing. 

Hale. [Softly, lovingly,] Alice! [Cunning- 
ham approaches,] You found him a good teacher ? 

[Cunningham goes on to the porch, and opens 
the top part of the door; he leans on lower 
part, looking in; he is in earshot of the two, 
which they perceive, 

Alice. Yes, in love only too proficient ! 

Hale. Oh, well — that was because, of course, 
he was enamoured desperately of you! 

Alice. [Coquettishly,] He pretended so! 



5S6 NATHAN HALE 

Hale. [Seriously.] And didn't you believe 
him? 

Alice. Oh, I did, at first — 

Hale. [With difficulty keeping the anxiety out 
of his voice,] Only at first! [Cunningham 
passes on out of hearing.] No — no — Alice, you 
didn't really doubt me ! 

[Alice cannot answer because the Widow, 
singingy enters at this moment, and Cttnning- 
HAM draws near again. 

Widow. [To Cunningham.] Well, you brute, 
your horses are well pastured ! 

Cunningham. I give you damns for thanks! 
Have vou food for a brave soldier in the house? 

Widow. No, but IVe scraps for a coward who 
strikes women. Come in and eat, if you wish. 
I don't let starve even dogs ! [EnUrs the house. 

Cunningham. Seeing you press me I 



NATHAN HALE 557 

[Laughing, follows her in. Since the Widow's 
entrance, Fitzroy has appeared cautiously 
in the second-story window, and, leaning his 
arm out softly, has caught hold of the shutters 
and bowed them shut. He watches behind them . 
Alice sits on the porch steps, pretending to be 
bored, and Hale moves about with affected 
nonchalance. The moment they are appar- 
ently alone on the scene, they approach each 
other, but cautiously. 

Hale. [Anxious.] Did this Hale prove him- 
self unworthy of you by some cowardly action? 
Had you any reason to doubt his passion? 

Alice. He broke his word to me ; that made 

me doubt his love. 
», 
Hale. But you are still betrothed to him? 

Alice. Oh, no ! When he broke faith, then J 

broke troth. 



SS8 NATHAN HALE 

Hale. Yet you came this journey here to see 
him. 

Alice. Out of pity — they told me he was (fying. 

Hale. [Law voice,] Are you in earnest? Was 
it pity, or was it love? 

Alice. [With a frightened look about her^ 
ignores his question.] I can't imagine how they 
took you for the other gentleman — Captain 
Hale is taller ; you, I think, are short. 

Hale. [A little sensitive.] Short? 

Alice. I don't want to hurt your feelings^ but 
it's only fair to you, sir, in this dilemma, to be 
frank. It may save your life I 

Hale. [Distressedy anxious, lest she loves him no 
longer.] You came to Captain Hale, then, only 
out of pity? 

Alice. Out of pity, yes! And now "out of 
pity," I hope this ruffian will take me back. 



NATHAN HALE 559 

Hale. [In a low voice, his passion threatening to 
overmaster him.] No, no, say it isn't true ! You 
love me still? 

Alice. [In a low voice,] Be careful, the very 
trees have ears ! 

Hale. If they have hearts of wood, they'll 
break to hear you I 

[Leaning over her. 

Alice. [Loud voice, frightened, for fear they are 
being overheard,] Let me pass, sir ! 

Hale. [Desperate, in a low voice ftdl of passion- 
ate love,] No ! Look ! We're alone ! They're 
at their breakfast — you drive me mad — only let 
me know the truth ! You love me? 

Alice. Yes! 

Hale. [His pent-up passion mastering him.] 
My darling ! For just one moment ! 

[Opening his arms, she goes into them, and as 



S6o NATHAN HALE 

they embracCy Fitzroy throws open the shutters 
of his window and, leaning out, cries: 
FiTZROY. I arrest you, Nathan Hale — 
Alice. [Cries out,] My God I 
FiTZROY. — In the name of the King, for a spy ! 
[At the moment that he has thrown open the 
shutters with a hang, Cunningham h^is thrown 
op^ the door below, and stands on the parch, 
levelling his musket at Hale. 
Alice. [Cries out,] Nathan! 
FiTZROY. [Calls down to Cunningham.] If he 
attempts to escape, fire. [Climbing out of the win- 
dow on to the roof of the porch, and flinging kim- 
self off by one of the pillars.] At last ! I've won I 
Before to-day's sun sets, you will be hanged to a 
tree out yonder, Nathan Hale, and the birds can 
come and peck out the love for her in your dead 
heart. For she'll be mine ! 

[Alice starts, frightened, with a low gasp. 



NATHAN HALE 561 

Hale. Yours! 

FiTZROY. Mine ! [To Alice.] You remember 
I told you once, sometime I'd make up my mind 
I'd waited long enough for you? Well, so help 
me God, I made up my mind to that last night ! 
[To Hale.] You leave her behind! But you 
leave her in my arms ! 
[Seizing Alice in his arms, and forcing her into 

an embrace, 
Alice. You brute ! 

[Fighting in his arms, Cunningham has put 
his hand on Hale's shoidder to keep him from 
going to her resctte. Hale has shown, by the 
m^ovem^nt of his eyes, that he is taking in the 
situation, the places of every one, etc, 
FiTZROY. Look! 

[And he bends Alice's head back upon his shoul- 
der to kiss her on the lips. 
Hale . Blackguard I 



562 NATHAN HALE 

[With a blow of his right arm, he knocks Cunning- 
ham on the head, who, falling, kits kis head 
against the pillar of the porch, and is stunned, 
MeanwhilCy the moment he has kU Cunning- 
ham, Hale has sprung upon Fitzroy, and, 
with one hand over his mouth, has bent kis head 
back with the other, until he has released Alice. 
Hale then throws Fitzroy down, and, seizing 
Alice about the waist, dashes off with her to 
the Right, where his horse is. Fitzroy rises 
and rims to Cunningham, kicks him to get kis 
gun, which has fallen under him. 
Fitzroy. [Beside himself with rage.] Get up 1 
Get up ! You fool ! 

[Horse^s hoofs heard starting off. 
Third Picket's Voice. [Off stage.] Who goes 
there? 
Fitzroy. [Stops, looks up, and gives a irimm>' 



NATHAN HALE 563 

phafU cry.] Ah ! The picket ! They're caught ! 
They're caught ! 

Hale. Returning, with Alice Adams, on 
private business. 

Picket. The password. 

Hale. "Love!" 

FiTZROY. Damnation! Of course he heard! 
[Runs off, RigM, yelling,] Fire on them ! Fire ! 
For God's sake, fire ! 

[A shot is heard, followed by a loud, defiant 
laugh from Hale, and an echoed "Love," as 
the clatter of horse's hoofs dies away, and 

THE CURTAIN FALLS 



564 NATHAN HALE 

A Second Ending to the Act. It was found, on 
performing the Play, that this ending of the Act, 
in which Hale's pent^p passion overcame kis 
control and made him expose himself to Fitzroy, 
did not, as the theatrical phrase is, ^^ carry over 
the footlights y In consequence, a new ending 
of the Act was devised, which proved to be more 
effective, theatrically. In this second ending, 
Jasper follows his mistress, and, after Alice 
has failed to recognize Nathan, Fitzroy, 
concealed upstairs, hears the servant being stopped 
and questioned by the pickets. The Major 
orders Jasper brought into the presence of him- 
self, Alice, and Hale, and this time his scheme 
is successful; for Jasper, unwarned, recognizes 
Hale, and from the recognition, the remainder of 
the Act is the same. 



NATHAN HALE 567 

Hale. [WUh a half-smUe,] But too broad for 
me ! [Continues his writing. 

Cunningham. What else are you saying? 

Hale. [Writing.] Oh, that I was taken before 
General Howe, who probably only does what 
he feels his duty, although he condemns me 
without a trial! 

Cunningham. Yes, but with plenty of evidence * 
against you, thanks to us witnesses, and the papers 
found in your shoes, too ! 

Hale. [Smiling a little,] True, I walked on 
very slippery ground, didn't I? [He comes out 
of the tent.] However, you didn't find all the 
papers. 

Cunningham. [Surprised, changes his position.] 
What do you mean? 

Hale. Oh, the men were so taken up with me, 
they didn't see my friend and confederate, Hemp- 



S68 NATHAN HALE 

stead, who was waiting by the Ferry Station! 
I don't mind telling you, now he is out of danger, 
the only paper that was of inunediate importance 
— the plan of General Howe's attack on Washing- 
ton and upper New York — wrapped nicely in a 
leather pouch, — I dropped in the bushes by the 
roadside when I was arrested. [He walks a few 
steps toward Cunningham, and stops. He adds 
cunningly, trying to get information out of him:\ 
That's why the attempt to force the Hudson was 
a failure 1 

Cunningham. [On his guard.] Oh 1 Was there 
such an attempt? 

Hale. [Goes nearer Cunningham, desperatdy 
anxious to know.] Wasn't there? 

Cunningham. [Sneers.] Don't you wish you 
knew! Go on — make haste with your scrib- 
bling ! [Crosses before Hale to the other side. 



NATHAN HALE 569 

Hale. [Reentering the tent, and taking up his 
letter,] I have finished. I do not find your 
presence inspiring. Have you a knife? 

Cunningham. Yes. 

Hale. Will you lend it me? 

Cunningham. No! What do you want it for? 

Hale. My mother — [his voice breaks; he 
turns his hack to Cunningham] poor little 
woman — wants a bit of my hair. [He controls 
himself,] Lend me your knife, that I may send it 
to her. 

Cunningham. [Coming to VLPiLE.,] Yes! That's 
a fine dodge! And have you cut your throat 
and cheat the gallows! [Getting out his knife,] 
I'll cut it off for you, shall I? 

Hale. Thank you. 

[Holding his head ready, and, with his right hand, 
choosing a lock. 



570 NATHAN HALE 

Cunningham. [Cuts it of roughly.] There! 

[Gives U to Mm, 

Hale. [Puis the hair in the letter; starts to fold 
it,] May I have a chaplain attend me? 

Cunningham. A what? 

Hale. A minister — a preacher ! 

Cunningham. No! Give me your letter, if 
it's finished. 

[Hale comes out from the tent and hands kirn the 
letter, Cunningham opens the letter. 

Hale. How dare you open that ! 

Cunningham. [Sneeringly.] How "dare" I? 

Hale. You shall not read it 1 

Cunningham. Shan't 1 1 

Hale. [Coming nearer Cunningham.] No! 
That letter is my good-by to my mother, who, 
for the sake of my country, I have robbed of her 
"boy." It is sacred to her eyes only! 



NATHAN HALE 571 

Cunningham. Is it ! [Spreads it open to read. 

Hale. [Springs toward him, his hand on the 
letter.] Stop ! There's the mark of one blow I've 
given you on your forehead now. Dare to read 
that letter, and I'll keep it company with another ! 
I mean it ! I'm not afraid, with death waiting for 
me outside in the orchard ! 

Cunningham. Either I read it, or it isn't sent. 
Take your choice ! 

[Hale looks at Cunningham a moment, — a 
look of disgust. 

Hale. [Drops Cunningham's wrist,] Read 
it ! [He walks up and down as Cunningham reads. 
He goes to Right; speaks to some one outside,] 
Sentinel I 

Sentinel. [Who speaks with a strong Irish 
accent, outside.] Yis, surr ! 

[The Sentinel comes on. 



572 NATHAN HALE 

Hale. Ask the men to sing something, will 
you? 

Sentinel. They haven't sung to-night, purr- 
posely, surr, fearing it would disturb you. 

Hale. Thank them for me, and say I'd like a 
song ! Something gay 1 

[His voice breaks on the word "gay,** 

Sentinel. Yis, surr, but I'm afraid the soldiers 
haven't much spirits to-night. They're regretting 
the woruk of sunrise, surr. 

Hale. Well — let them sing anything, only 
beg them sing — till sunrise I 

Sentinel. Yis, surr. 

[Hale turns, Cunningham has finished reading 
letter; he has grown furious as he reads. 
The Sentinel exits, 

Cunningham. Hell fires! Do you think I'll 
let these damned heroics be read by the 



NATHAN HALE 573 

Americans ? By our Lady, they shall never know 
through me they had a rebel amongst them with 
such a spirit I 
[He tears the letter into pieces before Hale. The 
soldiers are heard singing, outside j ^^ Drink 
to me only with thine eyes J ^ 
Hale. You cur ! Not to send a dying man's 
love home ! 

[Goes into the tent, 
Cunningham. I'll make a coward of you yet, 
damn you 1 

Hale. You mean you'll do your best to make 
me seem one ! God knows, the worst I have to 
suffer is to spend my last hours with a brute like 
you. How can a man give his thoughts to Heaven 
with the Devil standing by and spitting in his face ! 
[The Sentinel comes on and salutes, Cunning- 
ham speaks with him. 






574 NATHAN HALE 

Cunningham. Hale, you have visitors. Will 
you see them? 

Hale. Who are they? 

Cunningham. [To the Sentinel.] Say he re- 
fuses to see them. 

Hale. That's a lie ! I haven't refused 1 Who 
are they? 

Cunningham. They come from General Howe ! 

Hale. Fitzroy ! I refuse to receive him. 

Cunningham. [To the Sentinel.] Say he re- 
fuses to receive them. 

Sentinel. But it's not Major Fitzroy, surr; 
it's a lady. 

Hale. What! [On his guard now. 

Cunningham, [r^? //re Sentinel.] Damn you, 
hold your tongue ! 

Sentinel. I was told to ansurr all the 
prisoner's quistions, surr. 



NATHAN HALE 575 

Hale. [To Cunningham, coming out of the 

m 

tent,] You'd cheat me of every comfort, would 
you? [To Sentinel.] Is the lady young or — 

Sentinel. [Interrupting,] Young, surr. 

Hale. [Under his breath, scarcely daring to 
believe himself or the soldier, yet hoping,] Alice ! 
[To the Sentinel.] Is she alone? 

Sentinel. No, surr, a maid and a young man. 

Hale. [Again under his breath,] Tom ! 

Sentinel. [Continues,] The young gintleman 
wishes to see you for a moment fust, alone. 

Hale. Quickly! Show him in! 

Sentinel. Yis, surr. [He exits. 

Hale. [To Cunningham.] What a dog's 
heart you must have to wish to keep even this 
from me ! 

Cunningham. Say what you like, one thing 
is true : I'm here on guard, and any comfort that 



576 NATHAN HALE 

you have with your sweetheart must be in my 
presence. [He chuckles.] I shall be here to 
share your kisses with youl 
[Goes to Right and sUs on the stump of a tree 
there. The soldiers sing ''Barbara Allen" 
The Sentinel shows in Tom Adams. 
Tom. Nathan! 
Hale. Tom! 

[Taking his hand, Tom throws his arm abotU 
Nathan's shoidder, and, burying his head, sobs 
a boy^s tears, Nathan comforting him for a 
moment. 
Tom. Nathan, you saved the States ! 
Hale. [Excited.] What do you mean? Was 
there an attack made on Harlem Heights? 
Tom. Yes! 

Hale. And Washington? — Good God, don't 
tell me he was captured ! 



NATHAN HALE 577 

Tom. [More excited,] No, of course not — 
thanks to your information ! 

Hale. [More excited.] Hempstead got it, 
then? 

Tom. Yes ; after the men went off with you, he 
searched the spot, thinking perhaps he nught find 
something in the bushes, and he did ! He came 
across your wallet ! 

Hale. [With joy.] Ah! 

Tom. So, when the British tried to steal up 
the Hudson that night, they found us ready and 
waiting, — [he takes off his hat with the manner 
of paying homage, of being bareheaded in Hale's 
presence] your name on everybody's lips, your 
example in their hearts ! 

Hale. [Stopping Tom modestly.] And if you 
hadn't been warned? 

[Putting his two hands on ToM's shoiMers. 



578 NATHAN HALE 

Tom. It would have been the end of us, 
Nathan. Washington himself says so I 

Hale. [A s if to himself, dropping his hands, half 
turning.] I'm glad I shan't die for nothing. 

Tom. Nothing? Oh! Even if your mission 
had been a failure, your example has already 
worked wonders — your bravery has inspired 
the Army with new courage ! 

Hale. [Taking his arm and walking up and 
down with him,] Sh ! None of that. Talk to me 
about Alice. She is here? 

Tom. General Howe has given her permission 
to see you, but only for five minutes. Can you 
bear it ? Will you bear it for her sake ? 

[They stop. 

Hale. Yes. 

Tom. [Looking at Cunningham.] Is this the 
man Cunningham? [Hale nods.] Alice told 



NATHAN HALE 579 

me about him; we heard he was your guard, 

and she has General Howe's permission to choose 

any other soldier to take his place inside the tent. 

[Hale looks at Cunningham with a smile. 

Cunningham. [Rising. To the Sentinel, who 
is standing at one side.] Have you such orders ? 

Sentinel. [Stepping forward, salutes.] Yis, 
surr. 

Hale. [To the Sentinel.] Very well, we'll 
ask you to stay in place of Cunningham. 

Sentinel. Yis, surr. ^ 

Tom. [To Cunningham.] Then you can take 
me to my sister — now, at once. 

[Cunningham crosses to Hale and speaks to him. 

Cunningham. I'll be back on the minute, when 
your time is finished. 

[He goes out with Tom, Right. 

Sentinel. [To Hale.] I undershtand, surr. 



58o NATHAN HALE 

Don't think of me a minute. I must shtay in 
the tint, of course, but if iver a man could git 
away from his body, I'll promise you to git away 
from moine ! 
[Hale smiles his thanks and shakes the Sen- 
tinel's hand. The soldiers sing the air of 
what is now called ^^ Believe Me If AU Those 
Endearing Young Charms. ^^ ' Hale stands 
listening for the sound of Alice's coming. 
The Sentinel retires to the farther corner of 
. the tenty and stands with arms folded, his back 
toward Hale. Tom comes on first, bringing 
Alice. As they come into Hale's presence, 
Alice glides from out of Tom's keeping, and 
her brother leaves the two together. They 
stand looking at each other a moment without 
moving, and then both make a quick movement 
to meet. As their arms touch in the commence- 



NATHAN HALE 581 

ment of their embracey they remain in that 
position a few moments, looking into each 
other^s eyes. Then they embrace, Hale clasp- 
ing her tight in his arms, and pressing a long 
kiss upon her lips. They remain a few mo- 
ments in this position, silent and immovable. 
Then they slowly loosen their arms — though 
not altogether discontinuing the embrace — 
until they take their first position, and again 
gaze into each other^s faces, hzdc^ sways, 
about to fall, faint from the effort to control 
her emotions, and Hale gently leads her to the 
tree-stump at Right. He kneels beside her so 
that she can rest against him with her arms 
about his neck. After a moment, keeping her 
arms still tight about him, Alice makes several 
ineffectual efforts to speak, but her quivering 
lips refuse to form any words, and her breath 



582 NATHAN HALE 

4 

comes with diffictdty. Hale shakes Ms head 
with a sad smile^ as if to say, '^No, donH try 
to speak. There are no words for us" And 
again they embrace. At this moment, while 
Alice is clasped again tight in Hale^s arms, 
the Sentinel, who has his watch in his hand, 
slowly comes out from the tent. ToM also 
reenters, but Hale and Alice are oblivious. 
Tom goes softly to them, and touches Alice very 
gently on the arm, resting his hand there. 
She starts 'violently, with a hysterical drawing- 
in of her breath, an expression of fear and 
horror, as she knows this is the final moment of 
parting. Hale also starts slightly, rising, 
and his muscles grow rigid. He clasps and 
kisses her once more, but only for a second. 
They both are unconscious of Tom, of every- 
thing but each other. Tom takes her firmly 



NATHAN HALE 583 

from Hale, and leads hsr otUy her eyes fixed 
upon Hale's eyesy their arms outstretched 
toward each other. After a few paces, she 
breaks forcibly away from Tom, and, with a 
wild cry of **No! no!", locks her hands 
about Hale's neck. Tom draws her away 
again, and leads her backward from the scene, 
her eyes dry now, and her breath coming in 
short, loud, horror-stricken gasps. Hale holds 
in his hand a red rose she wore on her breast, 
and, thinking more of her than of himself, 
whispers, as she goes, "Be brave ! be brave ! " 
The light is being slowly lowered, till, as 
Alice disappears, the stage is in total dark- 
ness. 
The Second Scene. Colonel Rutger's Or cAard, 
the next morning. The scene is an orchard 
whose trees are heavy with red and yellow fruit. 



S84 NATHAN HALE 

The centre tree has a heavy dark branch jutting 
otd, which is the gallows; from this branch all 
the leaves and the little branches have been 
chopped off; a heavy coil oj rope, with a noose, 
hangs from it, and against the trunk of the tree 
leans a ladder. It is the mometU before dawn, 
and slowly, at the back through the trees, is seen a 
purple streak, which changes to crimson as the 
sun creeps up, A dim gray haze next fills the 
stage, and through this graducUly breaks the rising 
sun. The birds begin to wake, and suddenly 
there is heard the loud, deep-ton^, single toll of a 
bell, followed by a roll of muffled drums in the 
distance. Slowly the orchard fills with mur- 
muring, whispering people; men and women 
coming up through the trees make a semicircle 
amongst them, about the gallows tree, bul al a 
good distance. The bell tolls cU intervalSf and 



NATHAN HALE 585 

« 

muffled drums are heard between the twittering 
and happy songs of birds. There is the sound of 
musketry^ of drums beating a funeral march, 
which gets nearer, and finally a company of 
British soldiers marches in, led by Fitzroy, 
Nathan Hale in their midst, walking alone, 
his hands tied behind his back. As he comss 
forward, the people are absolutely silent, and a 
girl in the front row of the spectators falls forward 
in a dead faint. She is quickly carried out by 
two bystanders. Hale is led to the foot of the 
tree before the ladder. The soldiers are in 
double lines on either side, 
Fitzroy. [To Hale.] Nathan Hale, have you 

anything to say ? We are ready to hear your last 

dying speech and confession ! 

[Hale is standing, looking up, his lips moving 
slightly, as if in prayer. He remains in this 



S86 NATHAN HALE 

position a moment, and then, with a sigh of 
relief and rest, looks upon the sympathetic faces 
of the people about him, with almost a smile on 
his face. 

Hale. I only regret that I have but one life to 
lose for my country ! 

[FiTZROY makes a couple of steps toward him; 
Hale turns and places one foot on the lower 
rung of the ladder, as 

THE CURTAIN FALLS 



3 9015 03093 7224 



/